Out of Blue: Dark Revelations, Mystery and Conspiracy
British filmmaker Carol Morley is perhaps best known for her hybrid documentary Dreams of a Life (2011), a haunting work which probes the mystery surrounding the case of Joyce Carol Vincent, a woman who died in her North London home in 2003 and whose body remained undiscovered until three years later.
Vincent was found surrounded by Christmas presents, and with her television set switched on. Tragically, due to the advanced decomposition of her body, no cause of death could be determined. Morley’s powerful, empathetic film takes the form of an investigative reconstruction, as she interviews various friends and acquaintances of Vincent’s in an attempt to tell her story, and to understand how someone’s death could go unnoticed in one of the busiest cities in the world.
Morley returns to similar thematic territory for her latest work, Out of Blue. Although this time the filmmaker is playing with the tropes and conventions of the detective story in a fictional rather than a documentary context.
Like Dreams of a Life, Out of Blue also has the death of a woman at its centre. It’s a strange, mysterious and atmospheric film that sees detective Mike Hoolihan, brilliantly played by Patricia Clarkson (Sharp Objects, The Station Agent, Six Feet Under) called in to investigate the murder of a leading astrophysicist in New Orleans.
As the investigation deepens, Hoolihan finds herself confronted by a mystery that begins to affect her in ways she didn’t expect. The case leads her to discover things about her own personal history that she’d long kept hidden. Simultaneously, a darker world slowly reveals itself, and Hoolihan must piece together the fragments of a wider conspiracy.
Out of Blue is loosely adapted from Martin Amis’ novel ‘Night Train’. Using this source material, Morley has crafted a wonderfully offbeat and moody detective story with flashes of both David Lynch and Nicolas Roeg. Clarkson captivates instantly in the lead role, both subverting and conforming to our expectations about the hardboiled, hard-drinking detective with a troubled past. She’s also brilliantly supported by an impressive ensemble cast that includes James Caan, Jacki Weaver and Toby Jones.
We are delighted to be welcoming Carol Morley to Sheffield for a special preview screening of Out of Blue on Monday the 18th of March at 6pm. The film will be followed by a Q&A session with Morley.