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    Tags: Perplexed_Music, Mark_McGann, Paul_McGann

    Music, Words and Parallel Worlds: Perplexed Music


    Perplexed Music, is a new short film by Mark McGann whose themes of life, love and loss resonate with so many. 


    With the launch of the project’s new Kickstarter campaign, I caught up with Mark to discuss the vision, direction and experience of working with his brother Paul.


    The film’s central focus is the challenge faced by an unnamed man (played by Mark’s brother Paul) in the aftermath of the loss of his long-term companion. It relays the man’s private perspective visually and audibly to the viewer in a way designed to promote greater understanding and acceptance of this key stage in the cycle of life. Mark explains:


    “The film concept is predicated on the idea of ‘parallel worlds’ and specifically, how losing someone we might think of as ‘permanent’ in our lives can lead to the deeply unsettling discombobulation and temporary madness experienced by the central character. I felt it important that the film try as much as possible to clearly delineate between two parallel realities, one experienced by a man suddenly cut adrift in a strange new world following great loss, once removed from his former life and now viewing everything as though through a ‘sheet of perspex’, and the recognisable everyday reality experienced by all the other characters in the story.


    Mark hopes to use cinematographic techniques to create these clearly defined parallel words with the opening scene being one such example of this:


    “When the film opens, we’re are quickly aware that it is not a world we easily recognise. A fragmented loss of visual and audible perspective that creates an horrific, disjointed and unsettling effect as we are introduced to the man’s world. Everyday sounds and movements which can only be experienced as shockingly disconnected from normalcy, like the fragmented pieces of a shattered pane of glass continue to carry the substance but not the form of the original.”

     Above: Paul and Mark McGann

    The central character will be played by Mark’s brother Paul. As we discuss their working relationship, Mark’s passion and excitement for their collaboration radiates with every word:


    “We have an unspoken chemistry, language and history between us, which goes well beyond just our acting history. I think that’s really exciting. There are other characters in the film, but Paul’s is the only one who doesn’t speak. The film’s visual narrative becomes his mouthpiece.


    The parallel worlds of Perplexed Music will be filmed on location in areas such as Cornwall, locations that Mark envisioned when writing the script:


    “There’s something about the location in Cornwall that is just right for the script; it’s really off the beaten track, kind of wild and in the elements, steep hills, derelict slate ruin right on the coast, all strong visual metaphors for the man’s internal world.’



    Joining Perplexed Music is Producer Julie Eagleton, a fellow Liverpudlian who Mark is delighted to be collaborating with on the project:


    “She’s a very knowledgable, creative and talented person who’s just produced her first feature in Hollywood. I’ve known of her for quite some time, but this is the first time we have found a reason to collaborate and from the moment we starting talking about the project, it has just felt right. We are both excited by what the future holds for our working partnership. Julie also hosts an fantastic arts blog called Cellophaneland. She is unapologetic about her belief in the key role that ‘heart’ plays in all art and she never forgets about the need for art to connect with people. She’s someone I trust implicitly.”


    Written and directed by Mark, Perplexed Music is expressed through his love and ongoing fascination for the relationship between music and words:


    “I love anything that highlights the relationship between music and spoken language. For me, it’s an area that holds so many secrets to us as a species. Spoken language is music. I think there are unifying truths that present themselves to the speaker and audience when seeking to engage with the spoken word with a desire to find the music in it, so it’s no surprise that different kinds of music also have a significant role to play in the creation of the parallel worlds in the film. ”


    Listening to Mark, the word relationship stood out amongst this beautiful and thought-provoking description of music and language. It made me think of those relationships that we have not only with each other, but the world, relationships that Perplexed Music attempts to explore in this important and poignant project. It’s a film that has already resonated with so many and has now certainly resonated with me. 


    To find out more and to support the project, please visit the Perplexed Music Kickstarter Page.


    By Sarah O' Hara



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