“Best Experimental”, New England Film and Video Festival
“Cowards” is an experimental dual screen projection video which explores and tests the boundaries of conventional narrative storytelling.
“Cowards” is an intimate look at emotional and sexual abuse condensed through a moment in the life of a married couple trapped in an abusive relationship.
It’s three o’clock in the morning. Joan and Robert, married ten years with two children, are sitting in their pajamas on the staircase of their Colonial home. They’ve been arguing for several hours and are exhausted. Robert has a long history of abusing his wife. Terrified yet resolved, Joan wants out. Last night Robert raped her: “there’s no such thing as rape between a husband and wife”, he had told her afterward. Tonight she’s holding a gun to his head – it gives her a momentary feeling of confidence. But he’s clever and manipulative; he fights back with words. What will she do?
Composed of multiple images & sounds which combine narrative with graphic psychic gestures derived from content, “Cowards” points to a new art form only possible through a break from traditional linear storytelling toward a more complex and deeper exposition of meaning arrived at through layering and digital manipulation. Following in the wake of another earlier work entitled “The Runner” (a nine screen simultaneous presentation which was an official selection at the 8th Biannual of Moving Images at the Center for Contemporary Images, Geneva, Switzerland, 1999) “Cowards” continues to explore new artistic forms of expression through multiplicity of spatial and temporal elements.
Starring: Thomas J. Ryan; Nicole Halmos
Produced, Directed, Edited: Michel Moyse
Story: Elise Boyce
Running time: one hour
Presentation: two overlapping screen projections (each image approximately 14 feet diagonal) playing back from two Pioneer v7400 DVD players synchronized through timecode using Dave Jones software.
“Cowards” pre-screened at Hartford’s Real Art Ways and premiered at Boston’s Coolidge Theater November 12, 2001.
Winner of “Best Experimental” at the New England Film and Video Festival, 2002