SHOW AND TELL #5: David Sillars

David Sillars is an actor and writer. He is the lead actor and co-writer of Seat in Shadow directed by Henry Coombes. David will come to Alchemy and participate in a Q&A after the screening.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
The state beyond both happiness and sadness is the perfect state. But in the now, kindness makes for perfect happiness.

2. What lies at the heart of your own desire to make films?
To witness and reflect on what it is to be in the world. It is such a brief appearance.

3. What are the first things you do in developing a film idea in response to a subject?
Let the unconscious take over and intuition speaks.

4. What’s your favourite film and why?
Oh that’s too hard! From where I am sitting I can see two boxed sets of Almodovar, Ron Frike’s Samsara, Kenneth Angers’ Magic Lantern Cycle, Wim Wenders’ Pina, Fellini’s Satyricon , Jean Luc-Godard’s Breathless , Pasolini’s Arabian Nights and Derek Jarman’s Carravagio . And it’s going to be…Caravaggio. Caravaggio brought the spiritual and the sensual together in a revolutionary way in his painting, what St Derek does is similar. Beauty is fragile and wired with tension.

5. Choose 1, 2 or 3 of your all-time favourite music tracks!
I was a jazz DJ on radio for twelve years and I still think Miles and Coltrane doing Green Dolphin Street is sublime. Like Cannonball Adderly said You don’t decide your Hip, it just happens that way.. Of course Leonard Cohen, Anohni does a version of If It Be Your Will that I keep going back too. This isn’t fair! I want something from Blackstar and Gene and The Smiths and Cream and Bronco and Mahler and Handel and…okay, Joni Mitchell, A Case of You. She is a Goddess of Song.

6. From your favourite poem – could you give us a few lines that mean something to you?
The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold,
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.

Louis MacNeice The Sunlight on the Garden (c1936)

7. If you were to die and come back as a person, animal or a thing, what would it be?
I’ve done that so many times. Every time I come back I’m me. It just keeps happening. Next time I’d like to be the sun and shine on everyone.

8. What is your greatest extravagance?
Wasting time.

9. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
These seas of endless change.

10. What is your final word?
Ah. The entirely of the Buddha’s teaching is contained therein.