Happy Crying Nursing Home

Niklas Sven Vollmer and Lisa Paulsen

2005, 29:20 minutes, colour, English


With an almost frightening intensity, videomaker Niklas Sven Vollmer captures the enveloping void of fatherhood in “HAPPY CRYING NURSING HOME.” In penetratingly honest detail, Vollmer charts the feelings of loneliness, jealousy and tenderness, the bitter, complex cocktail of despair and love that define his relationships to his child, his partner – and his camera.

“HAPPY CRYING NURSING HOME” is a powerful and witty, self-referential treatise on technology’s gendered function and an analysis of what the camera means in a father’s hands. It treats the paradoxical elements of helplessness and control asserted each time the camera comes on. The tape’s palimpsest of sound and image combines complex layers of still photography, video, audio and text. Sound and image work in tandem and then diverge into delirious collage.

“HAPPY CRYING NURSING HOME” engages with experimental film history, and the ecstatic, romantic vision of parenting in films like Stan Brakhage’s “Window Water Baby Moving".

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