Still from Ways to Speak Absence, HD video with sound, 5 minutes 37 seconds, 2023

Ways to Speak Absence is a short film, based on a poem by Matt Alton. It brings together spoken word, an original soundtrack, improvised movement, and a choral performance based on the chorus from Eminem’s Cleanin’ Out My Closet. The film’s primary themes are grief and bereavement; it speaks explicitly about the experience of losing a parent at a young age.

In memory of Kathy Alton (1956-2016) & Eleanor Meade (1958-2023)

In collaboration with:
Matt Alton

Artist, Director & Editor: Chris Alton
Poet & Lead Performer: Matt Alton
Camera & Sound Recordist: Oliver Sutherland
Editing Support & Postproduction: Oliver Sutherland
Vocal Arrangement & Choir Direction: Kirsty Martin
Original Soundtrack: StevieRay Latham
Motion Graphics: Amy Gough
Performers: Zoë Alexander, Emilia Ballardini, Ele Bray-Giovino, Jen Coles, Liam Doheny, Lesley Fairbairn, Siobhan Farey, Brigitte Finch, Beth Plunkett, Hannah Reed, Kristin Skarsholt, Marina Stubbs

Commissioned and funded by:
Manchester Independents