Following a ferocious storm, a small estuary community is thrown in to turmoil after a mysterious creature appears in the mud at low tide. The arrival of the creature unleashes deep-rooted fears in most, but Rada played by Anamaria Marinca (4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days), provides refuge for the stranger, an action that leads to devastating consequences.
Taking inspiration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the film explores the idea of a monster created from fragments of other people's fears. Set in a re-imagined east London on the Thames estuary, Eelyn Lee has evoked a highly distinctive sense of place through filming in a black box studio. Monster was made during a five-day exploratory lab at the Barbican Centre, London where Eelyn led a team of 18 collaborators in a finding new ways of making film content through improvisation.
When presenting extracts from the film in the Barbican Cinema, writer & curator, Gareth Evans [Whitechapel Gallery] said of the film,
"...The idea that we would see something translated so profoundly from a theatrical space to a cinematic one in just a handful of days is really extraordinary... the process starts ironically in a theatre space and becomes more cinematic as it goes on. A wonderful paradox..."
Watch a scene from the film below.
Monster is the first iteration of the Monster Trilogy. It was selected for the BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival and has been presented by Gareth Evans at the Barbican and Close-Up Cinemas, London.
In December 2016 the film was shown at Focal Point Gallery, Southend alongside Creature of the Estuary, marking the first ever double bill screening of the first two iterations of the Trilogy.
Eelyn is currently developing the third iteration - a feature length film for theatrical release.
Read more about the 5-day lab and the making of the film on the project blog.
Read Gareth Evans’ article on his visit to the Barbican lab here.
Developed with support from Barbican/Guildhall and funded by Arts Council England