The fact that filmmaker Alec Bowman_Clarke is also a talented musician & photographer means his cinematography has naturally inherited a poetic gaze, which ensures it lingers long in the memory. Whether it’s the hypnotic red glow of a nocturnal bonfire burning in Salt House’s Mountain of Gold music video or the surreal, Twin Peaks-esque small town dread that underpins short film Overheads, Alec’s work is driven by conjuring up something wondrous from every day rural settings.
A disciple of visionary auteurs like Lynne Ramsey, Michel Gondry, Stanley Kubrick and Spike Jonze, Alec cut his teeth directing music videos. Working with legendary British label Rough Trade Records, his direction on British indie singer Josienne Clarke’s If I Didn’t Mind and Throwing Love videos is Keats romanticism distorted via arresting lo-fi visuals. These are music videos which turn countryside strolls and paddling in the low tide into other worldly experiences; the work of someone who knows how to elevate the British countryside into something surreal.
Much like the aforementioned Jonze, another film director who started out by directing music videos, Alec has aspirations to direct more and more feature length films in the future. As well as the impressive short film Overheads, Alec produced and directed Magus. Another short film, it’s a claustrophobic tale of someone with the ability to draw up magic from underneath the soil and it’s intricately layered to reveal new secrets every time you re-watch it.
Alec is also the founder of production company ‘Massive Overheads Productions’ alongside writer Andrew Leach, and their next short film The People Things, a whimsical sci-fi, will debut later on in 2021. It promises to carry on that wry sense of humour that’s so prominent in Alec’s own music (on soothing acoustic ballad The Event Horizon Of You he memorably crystallised the noise of social media with the sarcastic line: “I’m a snowflake in a desert storm”) and is an opportunity to explore the eccentric undercurrents that fuel British culture. Massive Overheads and Alec’s own blooming film career are only just getting started, and the multi-talented filmmaker is determined to turn a cult fan base into something even bigger.