Making their festival debut, Glasgow based, Fish and Game have been making quite a big splash with their unique work. Half work installation, Half cinematic experience, it makes for a difficult job for a reviewer to put into words just exactly what it is.
It is an experience for one lone viewer, as they are given an Ipad with headphones and invited to walk in through a door. Inside is a small, compact bare room filled only with a white bed, table and chair. You then follow the short film which shows a red-headed child in an near identical room and watch her interact with you as you move the iPad, like a camera around the stage.
They really are onto something here, using high technology with traditional if silent story telling. You can’t help but become immersed in what your seeing. It feels dramatic and personal and more than a little creepy as the little girl silently interacts with you before revealing a bitter sweet story of death, love and the relationship with her mother.
The film is lovingly tender but also subtlety chilling combining weird imagery like a dough mother and the blood stains of a canary with childlike view of the situation as she plays in the woods with another older girl. Quite what it all means is open to your own suggestions.
‘Alma Matter’ might be too opaque for the average Fringe goer but for those that like their art and want to experience something quite different there is something special at work here.
It’s just a shame that for all the technology it isn’t as interactive as you may hope: essentially, the experience is a short film that you are tied to in a rail system to watch, when really it would be mind-blowing if you could move the iPad around and see the room from the direction you dictate.
However this is a delicious slice of cinema that is somehow given the experience of something live and feels very real.