In 1977 two architects bought derelict houses in Kentish Town, North London and set out to renovate them. Being very different people, their ways of working and approach were completely different. Alan set out to do the work himself, bit by bit, over a long period of time whilst living in the house, Clary employed builders and a supervisor to get the job finished quickly so that he could move in with his large family. I recorded the process of change over a year, taking colour slides and interviewed the people not only about the practical process but also how they felt about it and what owning a house meant to them. Their views are contrasting and that came through in the film. The two houses take shape on the screen and this process is shown through the colour slides, which have been rephotographed with emphasis on examining details and texture. To me this house represents the Self - so working on a house is working on oneself (from C.G. Jung). Symbolically this film is about the process of renewal, about change overcoming decay, about courage and hard work. On a more pedestrian level the film is about people converting their houses, an occupation very dear to British home owners who are always tinkering with do-it-yourself. So it is a very British film. I made this film at a time when I was obsessed with decay in general, and I myself felt a need for renewal. So, in a way, it is a very personal film. - E.K.L.
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