David Austen Happiness

Happiness (2013)

16mm black and white film transferred to video silent

3mins

Man Liam Smith

Woman Margaret Ann Bain

Commissioned by Random Acts

A naked man and woman. He gives her flowers. They are happy and in love. Time passes. They hate each other. She murders him. She is happy.

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl.

Godard

‘Happiness’ started from this wonky premise. But I decided on a ‘real’ woman rather than a girl. The Man and Woman is every couple, from Adam and Eve onwards.

The film is intended to be funny, a comedy, in the ‘blackest’ way. Instead I find it terribly sad though not unfunny.

I was thinking of Orpheus, his love for Eurydice, the descent into the Underworld, and his eventual violent death at the hands of women.

I see the film as snippet of myth, held in a time machine, replayed over and over.

The couple appear like they have stepped out of a Muybridge photograph. They look naked, vulnerable and outside time.