He and She are Angelic; at least they were when they began. They fell in love, meaning banishment for She and an infinite wait for He; we join the two just as he is giving up hope of her return and She is arriving, having made it back as promised to meet halfway.
Now She has arrived, however, he can barely look at her.
The two search for a way back to each other, encountering two other figures on the way: Gabriel, whose moral nature is ambiguous, while Lucky's intentions quickly become clear as being pernicious, almost devilish.
He begins to see and hear things that previously He did not, including a story told by a faceless stranger of an encounter with a girl who somehow reminds him of She - He can no longer listen on peacefully to such things; jealousy and rage consumes him.
As She slowly begins to realise that He may never again return to how they once were, She too experiences rage that results in a fiery pursuit of trying to make him look at her as he did before.
24 Lines was shot over 4 of the hottest days in London this year: Easter Weekend 2011. A mobile crew of 4 actors, 1 make up artist, an assistant and The Astburys themselves shot 24 scenes across several locations in London including Greenwich and the vibrant area of Soho. Helena & Jake took roles of directors and camera operators with Jake employing his skills in cinematography and Helena producing each shoot day.
24 Scenes, each at least 3 minutes long, contain only one line, or none.
24Lines started life as two separate concepts; A structural idea for a long-form piece of 24 scenes containing one line each and an idea for a future live performance piece around angelic and demonic figures, being worked upon by Jake and Helena respectively. Working as solo makers as often as together, Helena & Jake realised that these ideas, originally intended to be entirely independent of each other, on examination transpired as being two concepts that could work fused together.
During both the casting process and the shoot The Astburys worked on scenes by asking the performers to deliver their line within a given time-frame as opposed to a fixed cue point, or if a cue existed it would be something that the performers themselves would have to initiate.
The viewer will see at intervals glimpses of a lover's scene, at first appearing as simple punctuation of their everyday life as a couple - in fact this is one single scene, shown in reverse order, from the past, a memory. These scenes were shot continuously as one long sequence and have been separated out to punctuate the piece.
Music from Netherlands avant-garde duo Bebe Fang, German field recording Artist Mirko Uhlig and American Neo Rockers Viva L`American Death Ray Music complete the piece.
*This edit and colour grade was produced in 2021
A Film by The Astburys
JULIET LUNDHOLM, AL SMITH “24Lines”
OMAR SHAKER as Gabriel JAMES TWEEDY as Lucky
Casting Assistant GEMMA WARING
Make-Up Artist CATT BAUM
Costume Consultant CLARE AMOS
Director of Photography JAKE ASTBURY
Music by MIRKO UHLIG, BEBE FANG, VIVA L'AMERICAN DEATH RAY MUSIC
Editor HELENA ASTBURY
Additional Sound Editing SARAH CORKE
Executive Producer OMAR SHAKER
Story by THE ASTBURYS
Written, Directed and Produced by JAKE ASTBURY & HELENA ASTBURY UK 2011, Colour HD, 16:9
Running Time 60 minutes (original running time 75 minutes)
English, Spanish, Swedish