Adam Roberts

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Body 1994

13 mins, 35mm, 1.85:1, color

“Bodies, apparently, feel heavier when dead. In a dark corridor, a woman struggles with a huge, lozenge-shaped bundle. Larger and heavier than her, she drags it along the floor, finally hauling it upright only to find that she does not have the strength to go any further...This essentially, is the plot of Adam Roberts’ disturbing short film Body...It is a threatening, tense piece of film making...” The Guardian 22.8.94

“Beautifully paced and veiled in a visual symphony of shadowy blues, this understated mystery shrouds a modern adaptation of Antigone in its contemporary filmic fabric”. Amree Hewitt, Melbourne International Film Festival catalogue 1995.

“I felt as though I was in a box with no opening. Until they released the body, I was in limbo” - this is how one parent described how she felt waiting for permission from the Coroner to bury her murdered daughter (reported in the Independent on Sunday 25.6.95). This is of course the story of Antigone pitted against authority in Sophocles’s tragedy.

There is not much plot needed: quite alone, in the dark, a woman struggles with the dead weight of her shrouded dead brother, trying to rescue his body from a mortuary. She is caught, and seems likely to be punished.

I was always impressed by the story of Antigone. I thought of a slight female going alone, defying male authority, to scatter dust on the body of her dead brother. The passageway she must go down would be long and the journey heroic. The end seemed less interesting than the journey, and the sheer weight of a human corpse.

the woman: Cathy Tyson

producer: Ben Woolford

lighting: Jack Hazan

production design: Teresa McCann

music: Matteo Fargion

script/director/camera/editing: Adam Roberts

commissioned by Channel 4 / BFI

Channel 4 tx: 21.10.94