Adam Roberts

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Mickey Finn 1991

25 mins, 16mm, 1.33:1, b&w

“...a work of considerable maturity....tells the story of the passions and desires awakened when two young men renew an old friendship...the blurring of the two protagonists’ roles, at the outset clearly dark and fair, good and evil, leaves a feeling of unease, heightened by the quiet tension pervading the piece. In one memorable sequence, as a spilt glass of wine spreads its black stain across the carpet, an incandescent stream of salt is poured on to the stain, absorbing the dark colour of the wine.” Dan Glaister, The Guardian 5.5.92

“...Adam Roberts builds a powerful atmosphere of mystery, sexuality and tension in this stylishly acted short...” David Robinson, Edinburgh Film Festival programme, 1991

A calls unexpectedly on old school friend B. A wants a favour: help with a robbery. But B refuses. A game of spiteful retaliation begins, not helped by A having touched on an old unspoken, sexual, affection between the two. But the bitten can bite back, even if only under the cover of darkness.

I wanted to make a film inspired by the myth of Cupid and Psyche who, although in love, were forbidden to see one another and so conducted their love affair in the dark. But their idyll is shattered when Psyche lights a lamp to see what her lover looks like. Thus light becomes the bringer of tragedy, just as it always does in cinema. Some motives and some loves are best left unexamined.

the men: Mark Vegh / Jason Hall

dialogue: Jane Black

producer: Rozanne Lipschitz

lighting: Jerry McCulloch

music: Matteo Fargion

script/director/camera/editing: Adam Roberts

Grand Prix du Jury, Angers International Film Festival 1992 (Jury Chair: Andrée Techiné)

BBC 2 screening: 27.2.98 / SBS Australia: 14.4.93