Doubt (Film)

Communication, Culture and Media

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In 2016, Erik Knudsen commenced work on his new feature film, Cleft Lip, starring Reece Douglas, Miranda Benjamin and Keith French, which has now been completed and is due for release in 2018. The making of Cleft Lip marked 25 years since Erik Knudsen’s first feature length film was publicly screened: One Day Tafo, Channel Four Television, 1991, UK. Doubt was always a big part of his creative and spiritual development and continues to play a big part in his creative and spiritual search. Over the years he has learned to see it, recognise it, and embrace it.

Now seems an appropriate moment to pause and reflect on his creative journey. With this in mind, the Doubt Project – book and film – has been constructed out of recent photographs, his entire body of films and some reflexive writing related to this theme of doubt from the past 25 years of writing notebooks. He has created a new reflexive film out of his previous films. Some of the poems in the book have found their way into the narration of the film, as have some of the photographs. The structure of the film mirrors that of the narrative of the book.

Research Statement

Doubt constitutes a multi-media practice research output working interdisciplinarilly across film, photography and poetry. An unflinchingly personal exploration located between narrative independent film, documentary photography and reflexive poetry, this unique work is part of Knudsen’s ongoing world leading critical and practical exploration of ideas of transcendence through the practice of filmmaking, applied theory and increasingly photography.

The Doubt Project has been poetically constructed out of Knudsen’s recent photographs, his entire body of critically acclaimed films, spanning 27 years of filmmaking, and selected reflexive poetic writings from personal notebooks covering the same period. Out of this integrated creation, he is creating of a new type of experiential narrative form exploring transcendent relationships to the creative and the spiritual.

In the absence of creative spaces in the contemporary public sphere for the expression of creative and spiritual doubt, the Doubt Project references the Judaeo Christian tradition, which has been built on the examination of doubt, as seen in the books of Job, Jeremiah and the Psalms, where such open and public laments calling into the wilderness for meaning and purpose in the midst of a cruel and unfair world are common. Inspired by the installation work of one of the few contemporary global audiovisual artists working with these themes, Bill Viola (Martyrs, 2014), Knudsen is building on a considerable body of his previous creative work and publications, providing an ongoing research narrative exploring transcendent relationships to filmmaking, complimented by critical works such as the monograph Finding The Personal Voice In Filmmaking and the articles Cinema of Poverty and Creation And I, Me And My Work.

Produced and published by One Day Films Ltd, and available through onedayfilms.com, the Doubt Project was first exhibited at the Leica Store Manchester, UK, in January 2018, and subsequently at the Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax, UK, from October 2018 til the end of January 2019.

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