Monday, 21 October 2019

Dreams of a Life - A film by Carol Morley

In 2003 no one noticed that Joyce Vincent died in her bedsit above a shopping mall in London. Nearly three years later her skeletal remains were discovered, surrounded by Christmas presents and the television was still on. Very little was revealed in the article, and so, when Carol Morley read about the discovery in the newspaper, she began her own quest to discover who Joyce Vincent was. 

After years of searching for funding, conducting thorough research (the family recognise that Morley did a better job than the private detective that they hired) and demonstrating incredible dedication and perseverance, the results of Morley's quest were shared in Dreams of a Life. The documentary shifts between a range of interviews with Joyce's friends, colleagues and ex-lovers with imagined scenes of Joyce's life. Over the course of the film the camera pans across a table which reveals Morley's research process. 

This scanning shot echoes the tone of the film, it slowly and carefully unpicks different aspects of Joyce's life in a non-biased manner. It does not set out to prove anything per se, blame or accuse anyone, the result of which is that I am left with more questions than answers.

"It is a film about urban lives, contemporary life, and how, like Joyce, we are all different things to different people. It is about how little we may ever know each other, but nevertheless, how much we can love."

1 comment:

Bea Charles said...

I agree. It is an incredibly thought provoking and poignant film. Zawe Ashton, the actor who played Joyce, was very affected by it. As should anyone who watches it be. As you say, it doesn’t judge or play on the emotions. It many ways it is quite dispassionate, so the response it triggers in ourselves is raw and feels real, not manipulated.
Bea (