Scenes for Survival | The Mass Launching of Jawline Sabbatical


14 Sep 2020

News Story

Jawline Sabbatical is a suburb. 12,000 citizens strong, walled in on all sides, entering its 52nd month of strict local lockdown. Its people trample across it every day lost in their own lives. But tomorrow night, thanks to a delivery received by every single resident, its population will be nil. A poetic, uniquely inventive sci-fi fable from the mind of writer and director Alan McKendrick, featuring narration from Ross Mann and editing and graphics by Carrie Skinner.

Produced by the National Theatre of Scotland, in association with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland and BBC Arts' Culture in Quarantine project with support from Hopscotch Films.

"Places have seemed more distant and unreachable to me these past months than people, and I've often missed the former more than the latter. Or at least the people I currently miss most keenly are anyway no longer alive, and so to be unable to visit those places which strongly evoke them has sometimes been the hardest thing to navigate. This film – part sci-fi, part disaster movie, part bleak comedy, part elegy – surely reflects that."

Alan McKendrick, Writer & Director

"As somebody who hasn't willingly made a telephone call since 1997, the idea of directing an actor via webcam was immediately out of the question. Checking the little-used camera in my portable music player, I found it contained exactly 797 photos, taken over a period of roughly five years. Perfect – we had the visual side of the film completed already. Every image you see in this film was captured pre-lockdown - 28th September 2015 through to 19th December 2019 – barring one brief sequence featuring a floral bedspread shot about fifteen minutes ago. It's five years' work, in a way, and footage of another era entirely. The text however comes very much from now.

Deciding that every single one of these 797 images were all of the same suburban neighbourhood, I set out to write a narration about a few crucial hours in that imagined neighbourhood's existence. It felt that by this point the Scenes For Survival audience was overdue a turn at playing the lead character, so the main role of Jawline Sabbatical has been written for them. Has been written for you. We hope you enjoy playing a suburb"

Alan McKendrick, Writer & Director

Audio Described Version

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