PIT & PENDULUM, 27min., Canada, Drama/Horror
Directed by J. Aldric Gaudet
It is the terrorizing story of a person sentenced to death who becomes the plaything of their jailers. They are sent walking through a dark room in hopes they will fall into a pit. When that doesn’t happen they are tied down on a table to watch the painfully slow descent of a swinging pendulum with a sharp-edged blade aimed at their stomach. Escaping from the blade did not mean freedom. The walls of the dungeon grow blistering hot first, then squeeze together to push them to the brink of the pit, before being saved at the very last second.
This is an experiential experiment.
Edgar Allan Poe’s words provide the texture for the Audience’s imagination.
The story is about the unrelenting terror suffered by a prisoner at the hands of their jailers.
The film is about stimulating the Audience with cinematic techniques and the words of the author to provide for the Audience’s interpretation.
Black-Box Cinema advances Poe’s Telegraph Mosaic into visual form.
The film has 2 strands.
1) It demonstrates cinematic techniques in a simple context.
2) It challenges the Audience to become attentive participants.
Almost everything we watch spoonfeeds us without the need for our attentive participation.
See With Your Ears, Hear With Your Eyes
The writer gains attentive participation by surprising the Audience’s expectations.
The director gains attentive participation by letting the Audience fill in the details for themselves.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
To illustrate a literary classic, visually, while maintaining emphasis on the author's words.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
Once it got going, it was about 4 or 5 years putting all the pieces together. However, I have been trying to get it going for more than 30 years worth of false starts.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Walking the tightrope between showing too much and showing too little, while at the same time complimenting Poe's words without embellishing.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
There was a moment when I thought they were talking about another film. Everything I hoped to convey, got across. I had just seen it so many times, the idea had tired me out.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I have always wanted to tell stories and those stories come to me as images in my mind, so filmmaking is a natural progression from that.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
The Stunt Man, 1980, Richard Rush.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
More direct connections to producers.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
FilmFreeway is great a great resource for finding and ranking festivals according to your needs.
10. What is your favorite meal?
11. What is next for you? A new film?
We are juggling a few projects, depending on production partnerships, which we hope to generate interest in, thanks to the response on Pit & Pendulum.