Artist, writer and occasional filmmaker Andrew Kötting (Galivant, This Filthy Earth) returns to cinema with Ivul, the story of Alex who is caught by his father playing a sexualised game with his sister. In a state of rage the father sends the boy away with the words: ‘I never want you to set foot on my land again.’ Alex takes his father’s words literally and retreats to the treetops that surround the isolated family home. In the months that follow he negotiates his way around the land without ever setting foot on the ground, while his family left behind gradually falls apart.
Kötting creates a distinct poetic world for this narrative to unravel within. Footage of trees being felled and slow-moving ice floes is interspersed throughout the film, accompanied by a discordant ambient soundtrack. Together they create an otherworldly atmosphere both mysterious and ominous, which lingers long in the mind. There’s a romanticism at play here that jars with the natural style that Kötting uses to document the family, it is a dichotomy that is by turns distracting, fascinating and engaging. A curious and beautiful oddity.
GFT, Glasgow, Mon 20 & Tue 21 Sep.