This site promotes Frozen, written and directed by Juliet McKoen, with Shirley Henderson and Roshan Seth, produced by Mark Lavender, co-financed by Zentropa. Frozen, a film by Juliet McKoen with Shirley Henderson & Roshan Seth, and an outstanding line-up of supporting U.K. actors, produced by Mark Lavender, Frozen is selected for the London & the AFI Los Angeles 2004 film festivals. Described as a •strikingly beautiful debut featureę. Supported by Zentropa; Film London; North West Vision, Northern Film & Media and Scottish Screen.
“ With Frozen I wanted to explore two key themes: the nature of unresolved loss and obsession, and the blur between perception and reality.”

“ The newspapers are full of stories of those who turn their despair at unexplained disappearance of a loved one into an obsession. Witness Suzy Lamplugh’s mother’s mission to prevent the same thing happening to other unescorted young women and Julie Ward’s father’s decade-long crusade to bring his daughter’s killers to justice.”

For Kath, particularly, perception and reality is a crucial concern. Everyone around her tries to explain away the reality of something she believes to be true. Steven tells her that the “rogue frame” she discovers on CCTV footage of her sister’s last walk is a “random magnetic blip”. Noyen explains it away with an inkblot test. Even the coastguard claims she cannot have been out on the sands she knows she has visited.

“ It is given to Noyen to articulate two other sub-themes in the film: Hope, although generally celebrated as a positive emotion, can be very destructive. Finally, even in today’s pragmatic, quantified world, mysteries exist that are beyond our understanding.”

The Bay and the Liminal
“ I am interested in liminal places – borderline landscapes, the places in-between. I live and work on that great seductive sprawl of estuary, Morecambe Bay, which is literally the borderline between earth and sea. The Bay inspires me to tell stories. I often wonder about the links between the geographically liminal and the mentally liminal. The subliminal area of consciousness, the sub-conscious, is the place where stories and dreams are born. There is a definite but mysterious link between geographic and mental liminality.”

“ Kath, in the film, is drawn to the places in-between. She returns again and again to the blind spot between two cameras. Her visions take her to an estuary landscape and an underwater place where the sky and air is still visible. Increasingly, as the film progresses, she inhabits a borderline world – somewhere in between past and present, living and dying, waking and dreaming, reality and fantasy, sanity and madness.”

“ I’m also fascinated by John Ruskin’s notion of the 'pathetic fallacy' – the attribution of human emotions to landscape. Most of my short films, both narrative and experimental, have been inspired by landscapes. The scripts I write are based around real places. Once I have found the landscape, it tells me what story I will write.”

On Using Digital
“ Five digital video formats were used in the making of Frozen – High Definition, DVCam, Mini-DV, Super VHS and digital stills work, treated and worked on in Avid Xpress. Even though I worked for years, in 35mm and 16mm film as a film artist, I am beguiled by the freedoms that the digital format offers.”

“ In particular, it rids me of that awful sense that hundreds of pounds are ticking away every time the camera turns over! It’s a liberation in terms of feeling able to experiment, to improvise and to invite the cast to have another take until they are happy with their work.”

CCTV and the Video Landscape
“ The landscape and textures of the film and video image also fascinate me. When Kath obsessively freeze frames, and enlarges the CCTV footage of her sister’s last walk she is, like me, spellbound by the poetry of the digital image blown up and breaking down into pixels.”

“ I am also interested in the way that chance, randomly framed, CCTV images of people before they disappear forever can acquire, in retrospect, an iconic status and meaning. Examples that spring to mind are the Bulger toddler being led by the hand in a Liverpool mall and Damilola crossing a deserted library square – both, unwittingly, minutes before death.”