Donigan Cumming

Four Storeys

1999 - Colour, Stereo: 2:04 min.

In this film, which consists of a single sequence shot, Colleen's face invades the screen. This woman, who was to be the main figure in Donigan Cumming's If only I the following year, traces in a few modest sentences the path of a life in which love proves to be a knife and heroin leads to self-forgetfulness. The strength of this confession lies in the quietness with which it is uttered. The facts seem to be horrifyingly and implacably logical when expressed in this way, without any passion or anger. With surprising solemnness Colleen recalls what prompted her to attempt suicide. "I was petrified", she says on two occasions to justify this final intent of self-destruction. If only I was to reveal the paralysis this woman suffers from and was to lend a new meaning to this simple word: petrified. Four Storeys was made from the perspective of a video installation called Moving Stills and it raises a series of questions about the documentary recording of a personal statement. The distancing effect of this chapter contrasts with the raw appearance of some of the sequences that are shown simultaneously. This confrontation of styles invites us to reflect critically on the form of the images we are offered.

Yann-Olivier Wicht, Visions du réel, 2002
(translation: Kevin Whiteley)

Four Storeys Characters
Colleen: Colleen Faber, a woman in her forties
Donigan: Donigan Cumming, a fifty-one-year-old man with a camcorder