Hymns of youth
It is not unreasonable to come face to face with the six films that make up the filmography of Teddy Williams (five short films plus his first feature film, The Human Surge) as one who sits down to study the different creases in a map that, once unfolded before our eyes, allows us to follow the journey of a strange brotherhood of youths, a kind of aimlessly wandering, smooth-faced community with its own world of various rituals, dialects and myths as fascinating and hypnotic as it is incomprehensible and alien. We could almost find in this borderless mapping a kind of anthropological record that is sent to us from a civilization in which pubescence would seem to be the last possible refuge against the barbarism of the adult world.
Few glimpses over the past few years have offered us such a personal and genuine close-up look as that of Edward Teddy Williams at that semi-beatific state that governs divine forces such as friendship, hedonism, leisure and desire; making an effort we could perhaps talk about Larry Clark, who in the exquisite Ken Park, explored the idea of adolescence as a state of elected people that resist the stakes of adult narrow-minded pettiness. But while Clark fine tunes his films out of a peculiar punk tenderness and a twilight mode that is both captivating and fatalistic, Williams speaks taciturnly from the first-person plural WE (this is not just any data) with a battery of images soaked in mystery, in that everything, unexpectedly, takes on the strength and fragility of an epiphany.
And just as it is not convenient to fall into the clumsiness of approaching a revelation with an eagerness to interpret it, whoever wants to address Williams' films with an analytical state of mind will see unfailingly how his powerful images dissipate away before your eyes. Williams' non-wandering stories, already in France, Sierra Leone, Mar del Plata, Vietnam, Mozambique and the Philippines, break through narrative, linguistic and geographical conventions, functioning more like the domestic chanting of a group of lost children such as those created by J.M. Barrie in Peter Pan, children who fell from their strollers while the nanny was distracted for a split second and who now from their shelter in Neverland struggle to never give in to the cruel passage of time.
Fran Gayo, director of Ourense International Film Festival