Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Glow Boys, 1999

 Film by Mark Aerial Waller
Aerial Films, London

Featuring Douglas Park with Nick Barber
 16mm film to video
14min., colour, sound
 A study of the psychological state of the contemporary British nuclear industry. 
The film dramatises original research undertook over the course of a year. 
The script is developed from the pitch black humour of nuclear contract workers Waller met whilst travelling across the UK, from Wylfa in Anglesey, to Sizewell in Suffolk. 
This is a survey of a strange marriage between the maintained decrepitude of post war science.
As "Nuclear Contract Worker" 
on set in canteen-scene 
(Mark E. Smith of The Fall, another Mark Ærial Waller regular, was "The Caterer") 
©, Copyright, Mark Ærial Waller, 1998

Mark Aerial Waller, Glow Boys, 1999, 14mins
In Glow Boys the disaster is brooding, waiting to happen. 
The film takes place in a British nuclear power plant in the company of contract workers who are also known as 'glow boys'. This term was an in-joke at the Three Mile Island reactor during the clean up operation in the late 1970's. Due to a shortage of contractors the same people would return with new identities. 
The glow boys or ‘sponges’ would pick up more and more radiation as well as more and more pay, leading good but short lives. The film and it’s companion ‘Interview with a Nuclear Contract Worker’ is based on extensive research, visits to reactors across Britain, and talks with shift workers, locals and nuclear scientists. The musical score is by contemporary atonal composer Paul Clark and includes a specially commissioned musical performance by Mark E. Smith of The Fall. Interview With a Nuclear Contract Worker, 1999, 9mins The character under interview is an extra from Glow Boys. He weaves a complex narration of his experience on the film set, shifting between his work in the reactor and his analysis of the 'nuclear racket'. Constantly in a state of flux, his conversation shifts from the film time, to the moment of being filmed, to his personal time away from the set. He is a temporal nomad, unconstrained by the controls of temporal designation. “If you think about it, we are, in some way, more celestial, almost divinely appointed. It couldn't happen without us.”

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