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Brown, Christopher (2015) Remission. [Video]

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'Remission' is a short film produced, directed, and written by Christopher Brown. Rights to the film are owned by Peccadillo Pictures, who distributed it as part of their LGBT 'Boys on Film' collection; this is one of the world’s best-selling short film series. The DVD (which featured an image from Remission on the cover) peaked at No. 1 on’s world cinema list and at No.2 on their LGBT list, and has been widely reviewed. It was also released in video-on-demand format. Prior to that, 'Remission' was nominated for both the International Iris Prize and the Best of British award at the 2014 Iris Prize Festival in Cardiff, a noted LGBT film event. It went on to screen at the Borderlines Film Festival as part of their Festival of British Cinema in Hay-On-Wye, and in Belfast as part of the PoutFest tour.


Exploring the paradoxes of sexuality and survival, 'Remission' is a brooding fable which conjures up an imaginary English countryside - harsh and bleak, but also the timeless realm of a fairy tale.

I wanted 'Remission' to conjure up an imaginary English countryside, in which nature is reclaiming the ruins of our old civilization. It’s harsh and bleak, but also the timeless realm of a fairy tale – a psychological landscape that determines each character’s decisions and fate.

My inspiration came from reading ‘The Pardoner’s Tale’ by Geoffrey Chaucer, set in the desolate aftermath of the 1348-50 Black Death, which killed one half of Europe’s population. The tale is a parable of human greed in which three young men seek to find and punish ‘that traitor Death’.

Today, we associate ‘remission’ with sickness, but from a fourteenth century perspective, this took on a moral dimension. The plague was seen as God’s apocalyptic punishment for human wrongdoing. Remission from sin – forgiveness – was a service a Pardoner would provide in return for cash, a kind of divine insurance policy (my other great influence here is film noir).

'Remission' is a fable, but an ambiguous, ironic one. I was thinking of the AIDS epidemic when I wrote the script; the ways in which gay victims of the virus were blamed for their suffering by a moralizing mainstream. Male sexuality drives my story, in which contact with infected blood means death – but how far should we accept the tales we are told, or trust those who tell them?

'Remission' trades in fate and punishment, but I wanted to rescue the men by exploring their quiet moments of humanity. One of them cries to himself, desperately. The other stares in childlike wonder as an old iPod crackles into life. The boy murmurs as he arranges his treasures, the leftovers of our disappeared world.

Item Type: Video
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sexuality, LGBT, Remission, Masculinity landscape
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Design (DES)
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Last Modified: 21 Apr 2017 14:38

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