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A Shape of Error

An experimental 16mm feature, A Shape of Error is based on the life of Percy Bysshe Shelley and his second wife, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley— writers whose lives forecast the modern in their concern for women, free love and labor. Child retells their story as an imaginary home movie, using strategies developed in her earlier films—The Future Is Behind You (2004-05) and Covert Action (1984)— to shape a new kind of narrative. With sound by the acclaimed composer Zeena Parkins (who has worked with John Zorn and Bijork), non-actors in the lead roles and silently shot with Child’s l6mm camera, A Shape of Error is an original—startlingly emotional and engrossing.

UNBOUND: Scenes from the Life of Mary Shelley

Working with non-actors, the seasons, and the extraordinary architecture and landscapes of Rome, Abigail Child has created the exuberant and visually gorgeous UNBOUND: Scenes from the Life of Mary Shelley. In the shape of imaginary home movies, the film tells the story of the teenage author of Frankenstein and her husband, the romantic poet Percy Bysse Shelley. The result is an experimental feature on writing, free-love, death and memory — a playful mastery of form which pays never-wavering attention to the past’s connection with the present.