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If you only walked in the woods and came across an abandoned railway tunnel, would you run in?
In Alex Garland’s psychological horror film, “Men,” there is a clear answer.
The film (now in cinemas) plays Jessie Buckley as Harper, a woman who escapes to a retreat in the English countryside to process the recent death of her husband. In this scene, she has been taking a leisurely walk and she comes across a railway tunnel. She actually walks in, evoking some surprising, and haunting, moments.
“I was just trying to create an extended sequence, with only one person, no one talking in essence, because she’s on her own and just enjoying the space,” Garland said, “and then turning the space on her.,
While in the tunnel, Harper realizes that the acoustics are great and sings some notes that echo back. She sings more notes and realizes that she can create harmonies, and a kind of song, in the tunnel.
Garland recalled that the script did not go into this much detail (“It said, she makes an echo and the echo is a really good echo”), and that he was fret about how he would execute the sequence. The idea of singing Buckley notes that would make a melody materialize as he rode to the set.
He said he likes to try on his film shoots to “stay alive for possibilities, not get things stuck in stone.”
“It’s a very easy thing to do with the government, because there is so much fear in a day, because there has been a lot of logistics and actors have prepared things and gaffers have prepared things and there are lighting equipment and catering trucks. and all sorts of things, not to be fluent, but to follow the agreed plan. But within reason I try not to do that. I try to stay light on my feet. “