An experimental romance drama investigating the interplay between capitalist-driven individualism, self-obsession and interpersonal existence within the urban space.

directed by/screenplay— Ewan Waddell

Yulia — Eef Andriessen
Jan — Stanislav Trusov
DP — Marco Puerto
assistant director  — Jennifer Stokka
produced by — runescape
gaffer  — Marco Puerto
sound recordists — Philipp Marxsen, Jennifer Stokka
score  — Skyler Hill
sound design — Skyler Hill, Mirko Porta / Pure Sound Lab
dialogue mix — Daniel ‘Frivolous’ Gardner
editor — runescape

Excerpts from research journal:

“There's an almost dread that comes up about having to be alone... And it seems to me that it has something to do with the part of yourself where you feel like the purpose of your life is to gratify yourself... And you see that when you walk into most public spaces in America, when it isn't quiet anymore — they pipe in music. But there's this other part of yourself which is almost hungry for silence and quiet, and for thinking about things for half an hour and not thirty seconds — and this part doesn't get fed... Every year, it becomes more and more difficult to ask people to read or to look at a piece of art for an hour or to listen to a piece of music that's complicated, that requires work.”

    (David Foster Wallace, 2003).


Hopper’s subjects (and one might assume Hopper himself) experienced profound alienation within the urban space — but yet Hopper’s subjects remain in these cities, and so did Hopper for the majority of his life. Why do they not leave? Why did Hopper live the majority of his life in a city? Why do most of us remain in cities? Why do I?


“Protected by police and fire departments and relieved of most of the challenges of survival, an urban man might go through his entire life without having to come to the aid of someone in danger—or even give up his dinner. Likewise, a woman in a society that has codified its moral behavior into a set of laws and penalties might never have to make a choice that puts her very life at risk. What would you risk dying for—and for whom—is perhaps the most profound question a person can ask themselves.”

    (Sebastian Junger, 2016).

Junger’s line of thinking might lead us to the idea that whilst we are saved from the depths of suffering and pain that our ancestors may have felt in their comparably more dangerous world, by the same stroke, we are potentially also robbed of the extremities of human ecstasy since our modern world doesn’t demand of us a mortal declaration or embracing of what is meaningful to each of us in life. As such, one might then continue that most of us exist in a comparably 26 mediocre, barely oscillating emotional paradigm, rarely traumatic but rarely truely beautiful. Instead, dull, flat and non-vibrant


Following exhibition of Lee Friedlander's series "Little Screens" at C/O Berlin:

The most sinister qualities of the screen above other forms of domestically consumed media (magazines, books, radio, etc) is 1) The medium requires both your audio and your visual senses, and 2) There is a lessened agency over the content, as there is effectively infinite new stimulation being beamed into your home every second. With magazines and newspapers there is a finite volume of stimulation because once you've read it, it's over, and either way you can put it down — it's small, you can put it in a drawer, etc. And with radios, the devices are also smaller, but additionally, they do not demand your visual sense. You can do the washing up, gardening, etc, and casually listen to it in the background. Televisions however cannot be tossed aside into a drawer, you do not have comfort, perhaps, in knowing that you have consumed all the content it has to offer, and if engaged with as designed, you have little other cognitive capacity for anything else whilst consuming. The combination of these factors makes it a sinisterly invasive device into the domestic space and I believe Friedlander's compositions capture this tone elegantly.

In a modern context, of course, this quality has experienced a great evolution with the synergistic emergence of smartphones and social media — where once you could go outside to escape the slavery of the screen, but now they live on our bodies as eternal prosthesis. Additionally, the intentionally addictive design of social media platforms continues to layer the malevolence of these (even littler) “little screens”.