In May 1951, a profoundly deaf Scotsman called James Duthie (known as ‘Dummy Jim’) cycled solo to the Arctic Circle. On returning to Scotland, Duthie wrote about his travels in a slim volume called “I Cycled into the Arctic Circle” that he self-published in 1955, selling the book door-to-door to fund future trips.
In 2000, film maker Matt Hulse received a copy of the rare book. Inspired by the journal’s eccentricity, unique tone, style and genuine warmth he decided that Duthie’s book might be the springboard for an unusual film.
The film that has emerged explores the complex processes at play in adaptation, and in film making itself. It is visually-led, informed by movies from the Silent Era and aspects of deaf culture and sign language. It treads a line between documentary and fiction, weaving HD with Super 8mm, archive material and animated / annotated elements. The film also offers a portrait of a community, with inhabitants of Duthie’s home town taking creative roles in the film making process and its future.
As a whole, the work will stand as a lasting and authentic memorial document to a quietly extraordinary and little-known maverick who got on his bike and did his thing.
Hulse will be reading extracts from Duthie’s journal and will share exclusive sneak previews of the edit-in-progress. He will talk about his unusual decade-long journey to complete the film, a journey rich with creative offshoots, including a soundtrack album, live cinema events, an artist’s book, knitwear, a deaf film festival and the much sought after ‘Dummy Jam’ (‘a terrible pun, an excellent preserve’).
Joining Hulse on stage will be Brooklyn’s own Aaron Moore (‘Volcano The Bear’). Aaron will be performing an improvised set live to images from ‘Dummy Jim’s own 16mm home movie footage, material that only came to light recently, discovered in an attic in the Scottish fishing village St Combs.
For more information about the film, check out the website.
Matt Hulse is best known for his films thanks to a number of award-winning shorts and his debut feature documentary ‘Follow The Master’ – described by Edinburgh International Film Festival as ‘an inspired cinematic pleasure’ – but in a diverse practice he works with text, web, music/sound, performance, live events and community to share and articulate his quizzical observations.
He is the founding curator of The Audible Picture Show (estd. 2003), an international touring show of audio pieces presented in dark cinemas, produced by a diversity of artists, makers & musicians. From 2003-2008 he was part time Experimental Film Tutor at Edinburgh College of Art and has guest lectured internationally. He trained in Fine Art at Reading University and Electronic Imaging at DJCA Dundee. Selected retrospective screenings: Unheard Festival (Amsterdam), Art Institute Chicago (Gene Siskel Film Center) and Center for Contemporary Art (Warsaw). Selected film awards: Hoppe-Ritter Teamwork Award Stuttgart Filmwinter (2008); Kodak Award San Francisco Art Institute Film Festival (2004); Special Award for Film Split Festival of New Film (2001) and First Prize Transmediale Berlin (1999).
Aaron Moore is an Englishman residing in Brooklyn, who plays music with instruments & devices. His primary instruments are drums, voice, trumpet & tapes but he generally considers any instrument (or object) playable in one way or another. Moore is a founding member of English experimental music group Volcano The Bear, now in their 16th year together.His long-time VTB colleague Daniel Padden created, along with The One Ensemble and Sarah Kenchington, the soundtrack album for Dummy Jim. VTB have been critically acclaimed as one the leading lights of the British experimental music scene. A music difficult to describe but one that is always seeking change & taking new directions both deliberately & accidentally.
Moore has appeared on over 30 albums with various groups & toured extensively in North America & Europe. He has collaborated/performed with Boredoms, A Hawk & A Hacksaw, Paul Dunmall, Michael Snow, Bill Drummond, AIRWAY & Ilitch.
Tania Yuki is a digital media specialist who began her career as a filmmaker and media attorney, and specialized in film finance and development as well as documentary and feature film productions. After working in film for several years however (including stints with Killer Films and Tribeca Films), she was seduced by digital and went on to run an online video content network as head of acquisitions and has also lead comScore’s Video Metrix, the world’s leading online video ratings service. Tania is also the founder of wimlink, an organization that holds regular events promoting entrepreneurship, leadership and the professional development of women in media, more about the organization can be found here.