Fragmented Youth is a sensory-driven exploration into multi-layered nostalgia. Dancer Mathew Prichard and Director Ewan Waddell rediscover an old friendship whilst capturing a movement language Mathew developed to reconcile fading memories of his childhood disability of deafness. On the fringes of lonely towns whilst hitchhiking through Western Europe, the film depicts a world of eternal sunshine, conjuring idealised notions of youth. The eerie soundscape created by Ed Myhill pulls the audience into Mathew’s disorientating recollections of his early sensory existence.
Fragmented Youth is a collaboration between dancer Mathew Prichard, director Ewan Waddell and sound designer Ed Myhill. As a profoundly deaf child, it was feeling the vibrations of the music that cultivated Mathew’s deep connection to movement.
Mathew explores the value of aural communication through a childhood game, the string telephone, which represents the transient nature of sound in human interaction. The film highlights the accentuated significance of touch and vision in relation to communication when one loses their auditory sense. The score was directly inspired by the landscapes within which the film was shot.
Mathew’s early dissociation with his immediate surroundings is represented by the borderless ambiguity of these environments.
The analogue processes of cinematography, the fragmented editing style and the staccato sound score converge to emulate the incoherency of human memory, exploring the notion that nostalgia is not merely about recalling solitary experiences but also remembering how one felt at that time in life. Mathew explains: “Through improvisation, I aimed to move in the most honest, reactive way in that specific moment in space and time. The unexplored, undefined spaces in which the movement was created informed the unrefined nature of the movement.”
Director: Ewan Waddell, Mathew Prichard
Choreographer: Mathew Prichard
Dancer: Mathew Prichard
Cinematography: Ewan Waddell
Music: Ed Myhill
Costume: Kat Collings
Editing: Mathew Prichard