Dwyle Flonk Film

With a name as abstract as theirs, it comes as no surprise that the two man band behind ‘Dwyle Flonk Film’ embrace the weirdness on a personal, as well as professional, level. We caught up with Jack and Lysander to discuss their magical world.

The two met at Downside School in Somerset, where they bonded over many things, not least of which ‘being dark-haired’. Warp Films and Warp Records, as well as Ninja Tune artists, also figured in their friendship, and later became key players in the creative inspiration behind Dwyle Flonk. It really came about, Jack says, from ‘finding the darkest in humanity funny’. He explains that ‘Dwyle Flonking is an old English game where the aim is to hit a man with a beer soaked rag. DFF does that but with film, in some way’.

This celebration of the absurd is at the heart of the Dwyle Flonk ethos; each film plays upon the uncanny and the bizarre, all with a good added dose of humour. They largely work in shorts that ‘experiment with stereotypes through film, and the subversion of normal film tropes’, and are quick to point out that ‘there is a lightness of touch in our work, though what we deal with is dark’. The films are testament to this, and the rather glib sentiment that DF is ‘whimsical about death, decay, sexual perversion, and creepiness’ probably most straightforwardly sums them up.

Both have impressive and lengthy creative resumes; Jack has worked extensively in film and theatre in Cheltenham, Weston-Super-Mare, Bristol and Edinburgh, career pinnacles being ‘an explicit and violent version’ of Huis Clos by Jean-Paul Sartre, directing a sell-out revival of Jonathan Harvey’s ‘Beautiful Thing’, and acting for Warner Bros TV. He currently studies TV, Theatre and Film at the University of Bristol. Lysander began by staging a school producation of Jam by Chris Morris, a production that still haunts the vacuous halls of my own subconscious. His education is a mixed bag, having worked in photography, to running a pub, to the antiques trade; a CV with a ‘breadth of experience that helps inform a lot of our work’. The both have before worked with BBC Drama, and can be seen in a new adaptation of The Lady Vanishes which aired on 17 March 2013.

Their rise to dizzying heights has commenced, and there are many projects currently on the go at DF, including a collaborative work with photographers and composers on the theme of ‘the weird’; curating the South West’s newest short film festival – Jump Cut Film Festival, in collaboration with various other media groups, in May 2013; as well as several films, including Gin. Two Fingers. and a short film about the troubles of being a statue performer.

Currently based in Bristol, they can be contacted at dwyleflonk@gmail.com.

Info on Jump Cut Film Festival can be found here: www.jumpcutfestival.co.uk

Film: The Goodparent, entry into Virgin Media Shorts 2012.

Samuel Sultana

There are few artists you can feel an emotional connection to from the offset, but on the rare occasion that an artist does reach through the canvas, magic ensues. Samuel Sultana is one such creative. Currently working on a collaborative artists commune-type project, he is clearly well liked and respected for the work he is doing.

A painter at heart, Sultana acknowledges that these kind of labels can be restrictive. Looking at his work, one sees few limitations: boundless colors and shapes that morph in front of your eyes, each painting tells a story. The strength of the work lies in the composition of the pieces. Sultana tells me that he now treats ‘art as philosophy’, and one certainly perceives the intellectual in each of his artworks.

I have no doubt that Sultana’s creative process would be of exceptional interest to observe. When your philosophy is that ‘it is essential to use everything. Everything is the arsenal’, the product will inevitably be of celestial proportions.

Relying on ‘chaos, intensities, and extremes’, his work is in league with the likes of Willem de Kooning, Rothko, and more recently, Bryan Lewis Saunders. The environment is paramount to the success of the artwork: hence the idea behind his current project. In a nod to the Romantic, ‘isolation, solitude, and obsession’ also compute.

The diverse range of artists Sultana is currently working with reflect a global spirit, bent on redefining and redesigning the creative landscape in Bristol, where the project is based. He says the creative platform will encompass all media, from ‘fine art to film, music, and theater’, offering a chance for young artists to network and build a support base from which to flourish.

Equipped with the creative holy trinity of vision, faith, and obsession, I have no doubt this is an artist of the future. To view more of Sultana’s work, go to his facebook page here or youtube. He can also be contacted by email at ssul0011@gmail.com.

Gaz Brookfield

One day, I was scrolling through my ever-growing and wildly out of control music library, and I happened to stumble across five or so tracks by a chap called Gaz Brookfield. I can’t remember how they got there, and to be honest I don’t much care because, after thirty seconds or so of listening to Gaz’s dulcet tones and delicate chords, I was completely and utterly hooked and I listened to his track “Hell Or High Water” all day, every day for a fortnight straight.

Gaz Brookfield is a folk singer-songwriter based in Bristol who sings about love, life, music and home. His lyrics are at the same time deeply personal and instantly relatable, speaking straight to everyone who’s ever had to work hard, fallen in love or thought that Simon Cowell and his bloody X Factor are collectively ruining the music industry (check out “Diet Of Banality” for full details on this latter point). An acoustic artist, he’s reminiscent of Frank Turner via Newton Faulkner with a dash of Jim Lockey on the side (a combo that’s well up my street, let me tell you), and he’s possessed with a passion and an honesty that makes his music incredibly appealing to anyone who appreciates their listening material with a little meaning behind it.

Since he began his solo career in 2006, Gaz has played over 700 shows and has two studio albums, 2011’s ‘Trial and Error’ and this year’s ‘Tell It To The Beer’, both of which are excellent and fully worth checking out. In 2010, he won acoustic magazine Beautiful Days singer-songwriter competition and on 21st December 2011 he became the first unsigned artist ever to sell out Bristol’s The Fleece. Safe to say, then, that he’s pretty damn good.

If you’d like to find out more about Gaz Brookfield’s music, visit his website.

– Georgie