A haunting short by Australian filmmaker Sam Icklow. Based on Permafrost by Icklow’s long-time friend (and the film’s star), writer and artist SJ Norman, “The Moth” follows a lonely insomniac negotiating the isolation and uncertainty of living in a foreign city. The film is a followup to Icklow’s thesis project at UCLA, offering something of a love letter to Berlin as well as a “queering of the traditionally masculine gothic horror genre.”
Alternating between dreams and waking moments, the breakdown of the protagonist’s reality is mirrored in the fragility of her long-distance relationship as her insecurities begin to spill out into the world around her. Adding to the anxious energy of the film, Icklow had his own unnerving experience while filming. As he shared with us:
“The apartment we found to shoot in was really a time capsule. A friend of a friend of my producers was subletting it while the owner was away in Africa, or so we were told. He had not changed anything in it since the 60s – the kitchen, wallpaper, furniture, everything was completely preserved. It was a challenge shooting in such a small space, but I couldn’t pass up capturing the quality of such a unique space. We later found out that he was not in Africa at all, but living in the basement of the building and illegally subletting the apartment. It was quite a terrifying moment, but everything turned out ok in the end.”
Check out “The Moth” above as well as a couple behind-the-scenes shots below!