Photographer and filmmaker Richard Mosse has been collaborating with cinematographer Trevor Tweeten for a while now, and their latest offering is a short, mesmerising film entitled Leviathan. Continuing with Mosse's fascination for wrecked planes and their place in the landscape, it juxtaposes the removal of a downed US Airlines passenger plane from the icy Hudson River with the controlled immersion of a wrecked bomber off the coast of Phuket in Thailand. Tweeten frames some beautiful shots, which view like slowly changing versions of Mosse's still photographs. There is no real climax, but the film's slow, brooding pace and atmospheric soundtrack make for a really compelling, interesting short.
Their previous film together, Theatre Of War, is also a fascinating film which initially looks as though it could be a freeze-framed image. Off-duty soldiers, killing time at one of Saddam Hussain's ruined palaces, appear like tiny figures in a classical painting, perched high on a plateau above the Iraqi landscape. The setting is so epic and the soldiers' movements are so minimal that the scene seems scarcely real. Again, Mosse and Tweeten capture some truly breath-taking shots that really hold the viewer's attention.
So much contemporary film coverage of conflict or dramatic events is hand-held, fast moving and choppily edited, all to try and add drama, but Mosse's careful, considered and beautifully composed films offer so much more. They become works of art as well as pieces of thoughtful reportage.
Watch them full screen, with the HD on.
Theatre Of War, 2009
Films © Richard Mosse