The Lady with the Lamp

As long as I’m posting viral videos from my ex-students, it’s worth mentioning Duncan Cowles’ highly successful short short THE LADY WITH THE LAMP. Brilliant deadpan and durational comedy. In fairness to the department, I have to say that since Duncan was studying documentary and I teach fiction, I can claim zero credit for Duncan’s development as a filmmaker. Except maybe in looking unamused at his fiction ideas and highly amused at his documentary ones.

Duncan is one of those filmmakers who mines his family for stories — he’s so far made films about his dad (and his dad before him), his paternal grandmother, and here his mum. But the films do go beyond this apparently narrow range — RADIO SILENCE and SEAVACUEE use family stories to delve into history, particularly WWII. He’s one of the graduates I can say with confidence we’ll be hearing more from.

12 Responses to “The Lady with the Lamp”

  1. It seems to play differently to different age groups. The youngsters see Mum as the comic antagonist and Duncan as the comic victim, whereas older viewers sympathize more with her. I seem to fluctuate between the two positions…

  2. I waver as well. Those little bits of banality are part of my life, but I can’t consider her an antagonist. My mother has (what would be) interesting stories of living under Fascist and Nazi occupation, but as she’s aged I’ve listened to them so many times I could recite them almost word for word.

    P.S. The Carabineri were a hell of a lot nicer to kids.

  3. I’m looking forward to seeing what Duncan does next. His longer films show him interacting with bigger issues and the deadpan mask, while it’s still good for humour, shows signs of cracking. Really interesting filmmaker, and one of the few on the course who enters into using himself as a resource.

  4. David Boxwell Says:

    Q: How many mother does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: That’s alright, I’ll just sit here in the dark.

    Best line: “I knew this was something I had to do.”

  5. Glad you enjoyed/were inspired!

  6. The Mother/Son conflict is remindful of Xavier Dolan.

  7. A mission for Duncan: check out Dolan’s work. A mission for me too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: