Canopy is a task in elasticising the footage to meld it beyond the simplicity of Jim’s struggle to survive in the jungle as the Japanese invade the tiny island of Singapore in 1942.
The director, Aaron Wilson’s brief was to ensure Canopy’s edit had a distinctive Asian sensibility rather than a western editing style. Add to that the jungle meshing into a memoryscape or dreamscape as the audience is moved in and out of Jim’s view of the indifferent jungle and I was rubbing my hands with glee.
All our primordial fears are brought to the fore with nightfall and that allowed us to move through Jim’s points of anxiety, physical threat – seen and heard to the internal fears that roam unfettered in his adrenaline pumped mind.
With a smatter of dialogue the film relies heavily on the story being told by body language and facial expressions as Jim sloshes, stumbles, bulldozes, runs and walks through the jungle ever seeking refuge from the Japanese soldiers and their constantly heard percussive weaponry. Each facial and body move, blink, look, turn and pause was minutely examined, tweaked reframed and re-explored to build upon what had gone before.
The other character of this film is the soundscape. Aaron right from the gecko wanted a complex track lay to create the mayhem and fear that war is while weaving the alien jungle sounds in to give the jungle its own unsettling presence.
The end result is a film you experience rather than watch.
More details on the film website.