TUTTI I FILM DEL 5° FIRENZE FF – “Perplexed music” (UK 2017) di Mark McGann

  Il film sarà proiettato il 26 gennaio alle ore 17.00:
Zona Aromatica Protetta
Sala Riunioni 2°piano
Vicolo di Santa Maria Maggiore 1
50123 Firenze
Perplexed musicPerplexed Music
A man sits alone in a café, locked in his own
world of grief and profound loneliness after the
loss of his life companion. The first tentative
kiss of two young lovers captures his attention
and he is fixated. The memories of his own love
have become overwhelming – taunted and
tortured once more by a mind cut adrift in a
raging storm, can he find the strength to carry
His search for answers takes him to the very
edge of his own mortality, before the natural
process of grief finally reveals to him the ‘gifts’
of acceptance and a new perspective, found in
the recognition of the universal truths in
everything touched by life, when we are truly
The film is partly inspired by the Elizabeth
Barrett Browning poem of the same name and
includes an original soundtrack and ballad by
McGann, performed with a haunting beauty by
newcomer Stephanie Grace Kennedy.
It is with great pleasure that we submit our short film ‘Perplexed Music’ for consideration for your festival programming.
‘Perplexed Music’ was written and directed by British actor Mark McGann (Shackleton, The Hanging Gale, ), one of the well-known and loved McGann brothers. The film stars Mark’s brother, Paul McGann (Withnail and I, Dr Who, Hornblower, Alien 3) with Paul’s son Sonny in a supporting role. This is Mark’s first film as a director.
The film is about the breaking of a profound grief – the grief of a man alone, lost without the presence of his lover. His search for understanding and a reason to continue, takes him to the very edge of his own mortality, before the natural process of grief finally reveals the answers he seeks in the universal truths present in everything touched by the cycle of life.
Inspired by the Elizabeth Barrett Browning Sonnet of the same name, the film includes an original soundtrack by Mark McGann performed with a haunting beauty by Stephanie Grace Kennedy.
We hope you enjoy the film and we look forward to hearing from you.
Very best
Clare Cahill
Perplexed Music
Director Biography

Caa97fb8be headshot

Mark is a professional director, actor, scriptwriter, producer and published songwriter.
Over the past 35 years he has appeared as an actor in many leading roles in Theatre, TV and Film, as well as receiving commissions to write and direct original productions for a wide
variety of professional organisations including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Merton Music Foundation at the Royal Albert Hall and Sunderland City Council.
He has also written many original music compositions including for the West End production of ‘Up On The Roof’; for the
commercial album ‘The McGanns’ on Warner Brothers/Coalition Records. He also wrote the song and lyrics for the original
soundtrack for his film ‘Perplexed Music’.
McGann made his acting debut with the Everyman Theatre Company Liverpool in 1981/82. His breakthrough role came as the eponymous hero in ‘Lennon’ in 1982 which transferred to London’s West End in 1985 winning McGann the first of his two Best Actor Olivier Award nominations (the second being for Scott in ‘Up On The Roof’ at the Apollo Theatre in 1987). Other notable stage and screen appearances include: ‘John & Yoko: A Love Story’ NBC TV 1985; ‘Let Him Have It’ 1992; ‘The Hanging Gale’ BBC TV 1995; ‘The Grand’ Granada TV 1997-99; ‘Shackleton’ C4 2001; Mickey in ‘Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell; Inspector Goole in ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J. B. Priestly for the
Royal National Theatre; Gethin Price in ‘Comedians’ by Trevor Griffiths at the Young Vic; Killers at the Royal Court; Macbeth in ‘Macbeth’ and Mosca in ‘Volpone’ by Ben Jonson for the Cambridge Theatre Company; Don Giovanni in ‘Don Giovanni’ at the Greenwich Theatre London.
In 2007 McGann formed the multi-media production company Drama Direct Ltd, which continues to create and produce original commercial and educational works for the
entertainment industry and beyond. Following successful directorial roles on various commercial and corporate films since the formation of this company, he successfully crowdfunded his own film Perplexed Music on Kickstarter.
Inspired by the Elizabeth Barrett Browning Petrarchan sonnet of the same name, the film was written and directed by McGann, and also stars his brother Paul McGann and nephew Sonny McGann in leading roles.
Director Statement
What exactly does grief look like? Would we recognise it if we saw it in a stranger in the street, or in a café? How is it that an experience we must all go through can feel so separated, singular and isolating? What does it all mean? What does it say about us and our lives? About the lives of others?
These were just some of the questions that drew me to the story for Perplexed Music, partly I now accept, out of a growing desire to understand more about my own grief following the recent loss of close friends and family, but also out of a growing sense of the need to clarify my own thoughts about this most profound phase of life, to acquire some deeper truth that might then help shed light and share comfort in the future.
If a key objective of storytelling-as-art is to help us study the more extreme aspects of our own humanity, so that we can better understand not only our own lives, but also our place in the vast ongoing human narrative, then I think we need to tackle the darker complexities of our lives more consciously and in ways that perhaps are not always supported by mores and taboos of modern western culture.
Perplexed Music therefore is not an attempt at intellectual rumination on the cycle of grief, but rather a simple allegorical homage to deep love, that seeks to connect with the higher truth revealed by the heart, the truth that ‘love’ is simply the ‘soup’ that binds everything, the light that gives meaning and eternal value to everything it touches.
At a time when ‘human’ tales are perhaps more important than ever to remind us of just how similar we all are, I wanted to make something that reverberated with compassion for our plight; for the challenge that comes with not knowing where we or our loved ones go to after death, and our struggle to find a reason to live on when ‘holed’ below the lifeline. I wanted to make a hopeful film that points to the meaning to be found all around us whenever we are truly present, something always available, as the gateway to rebirth through acceptance and grace.
I hoped it would help me ‘own my own truth’ a little better, which I believe it has. I hope it helps you to own your’s a little better too.
Love and light.
Mark McGann 2017

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