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Sunday, 16 October 2016

PROCESSED EGG

PROCESSED EGG

At the turn of the century I made this rarely seen genre defying masterpiece – Processed Egg.


Who knows what it all means? Answers on a postcard to the usual address...


"A Man sits alone at his desk. He is drawing a comic strip. He finishes drawing then slumps back into the wheel chair he is in. In a rage he tears up his drawing and throws it away. He wheels over to the other side of the room and strums a guitar. He gets up from the wheelchair and walks to the kitchen to fix himself a ham and processed egg sandwich. He sees a pretty girl walking down the street. He puts the sandwich down and runs outside. He follows the girl from the other side of the road. He crosses to meet her and bumps into her, secretly groping her breast. He runs away. Back in his room he puts on a record but turns it off after a few seconds. He looks at a photo of a girl. He rips it up in anger and then slumps back in the wheelchair. The phone rings. He has an awkward conversation about going out tonight. The Man declines the offer. The doorbell rings. A man with a clipboard is at the door. The bell rings. The Man crouches in a corner, sobbing.

The Man sits in his wheelchair with a beer. He picks up the torn photo and crudely pieces it together again. He yawns and goes to bed. The camera closes in on his face."


Starring Vic Pratt and Diana Tully



Written, Directed and Produced by Jan Manthey – 1999

This was a return to the darker territory of my anti drugs epic TEENAGE ECSTASY. It was helped enormously by the terrific lead performance of my eternal muse, Vic Pratt. He looked just the part in his ill fitting red tracksuit. Also great was the spooky music that ran throughout the whole film. This was done by a man who I only ever met once. I only knew him as Michael. If anyone knows the whereabouts of Michael, let me know.



The title of the film came from this disgusting foodstuff that we bought from the local shop (Sanco’s) that was used for the actual sandwich that Vic ate in the film. It was very thin, slightly mushy grey looking ‘ham’ with a greenish equally thin slice of ‘egg’ in the middle. If it were sold in Waitrose or some such place it may have a crust around it and be called Gala Pie. I believe that this processed foodstuff was also out of date by some margin and I also believe that Vic polished off the product after filming...
This film also marks the first appearance in my Ouevre of the delectable Diana (who is also the current Mrs Karno) who went on to star in future KinoKarno productions.
Editing was done in my then customary arduous manner of two VHS machines linked up. It was a rather hit and miss affair but that’s how it was done back in the olden days. And check out the hand-made titles...





The film was successfully shown at the Portobello Film Festival and also won an award at something called the London Low Budget Film Festival. No prize was ever received nor did the LLBFF ever screen any of the ‘award’ winning films film. In fact it has never been heard of before or since. Nevertheless I am proud of the achievement. Here is what the LLBFF had to say about the film:


“Short film about a man finding it difficult to come to terms with the loss of his girlfriend. The comedy of a no a no-budget approach to heart rending melodrama is well exploited. Several imaginative touches, a nice sense of the absurd, and good conviction from the actors.”


PROCESSED EGG became part of a projected trilogy called 'THE COLOUR OF DESPAIR'. Part two was filmed on Super 8 film and used some complex techniques involving different film speeds. However, the film got burnt up in the ancient projector that I have. The project is currently on hold. Possibly forever.

Until I recently transferred it to this new fangled digital format, PROCESSED EGG only existed on a very old, fragile, cheapo VHS tape after the Master copy accidently got erased. Despair indeed.




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