Warning: The following contains scenes that some viewers will find disturbing.
João Paulo Simões on He Can Delve In Hearts:
“This film is the result of an ongoing creative collaboration that I am honoured to have with Matt Howden and his music project Sieben. Something that we established in 2006 with the production of the feature-length film Antlers of Reason and the DVD that accompanied his album High Broad Field.
Once more, this film has certainly benefited from the symbiotic process that always happens when my imagery meets his music, but also from Matt’s absolute trust in my vision – giving me complete free rein to explore and express my ideas.
This is very possibly the darkest piece that I have ever put together, but it all begins with the music – what it evokes in me. Then the actual process of conception was quite simple: I let Martin Bedford’s artwork for the album seep through and discussed some aesthetics with Matt, looking at particular photography that he’s into. Then came the format. I was keen on exploring the same short film/music video hybrid template that I had used with great success in the videos for Portuguese band Nanashi in 2010 and for Anna Wildsmith’s industrial symphonic project SOW last year.
The overall darkness of the content only became a problem during the casting period – with a good deal of actors approached either feeling uncomfortable or, less intelligently, dismissing it as a straight horror film. In the end, I am grateful for their refusal to audition or take part, because this lead us to assemble the most perfect cast in a multi-character piece that goes beyond genre.
One final note: I am personally very pleased with how the actual production went and proud that, despite the usual compromises, I managed to retain the film’s essence intact.
This is a piece of half-glimpsed narratives, of wounded characters trapped in a house. In a time loop of sorrow and obsession...”