On location with Ben Rivers’ The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers

An exclusive look behind the scenes at Ben Rivers’ new Artangel project and feature film.

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On location of Ben Rivers’s The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (2015)

On location of Ben Rivers’s The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (2015)
Credit: Production still by Yuki Yamamoto

After the remote expanses of Northern Finland in A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (2013), the Scottish highlands of Two Years at Sea (2011) and such far-flung locales as a deserted city on the Japanese island of Gunkanjima and the Polynesian archipelago of Tuvalu in Slow Action (2010), Morroco’s Atlas mountains and Sahara desert are the latest wild expanses to attract British filmmaker Ben Rivers with his 16mm Bolex camera.

Another semi-documentary, the enigmatically-titled The Two Eyes are Not Brothers encompasses an adaptation of Paul Bowles’s 1947 brutal short story A Distant Episode, about the atrocities befalling a Western linguist wandering North Africa, along with elements from the life and stories of Moroccan writer and artist Mohammed Mrabet and visits to the sets of Moroccan-based films by Spanish director Oliver Laxe and British artist Shezad Dawood.

Appropriately for a film exploring filmmaking and storytelling in a landscape with so many abandoned sets of past film productions (Lawrence of Arabia and Orson Welles’s Othello are just two films shot there), the project will first be installed as a multi-projection installation in the BBC’s old home, the Television Center in London’s White City, giving audiences the opportunity to wander the vacant drama block before its impending redevelopment. The Two Eyes are Not Brothers will then be released as a feature-length film in cinemas later this year.

On location of Ben Rivers’s The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (2015)

On location of Ben Rivers’s The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (2015)
Credit: Production still by Yuki Yamamoto

Horseback riders in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains

Horseback riders in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains
Credit: Production still by Yuki Yamamoto

Ben Rivers shooting The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers

Ben Rivers shooting The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers
Credit: Production still by Yuki Yamamoto

On location of Ben Rivers’s The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (2015)

On location of Ben Rivers’s The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (2015)
Credit: Production still by Yuki Yamamoto

On location of Ben Rivers’s The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (2015)

On location of Ben Rivers’s The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (2015)
Credit: Production still by Yuki Yamamoto

Sound recordist Philippe Ciompi on location

Sound recordist Philippe Ciompi on location
Credit: Production still by Yuki Yamamoto

Rivers shooting Moroccan bandits on location in Morocco

Rivers shooting Moroccan bandits on location in Morocco
Credit: Production still by Yuki Yamamoto

An actor in the tin suit from Ben Rivers’ film version of Paul Bowles’ A Distant Episode

An actor in the tin suit from Ben Rivers’ film version of Paul Bowles’ A Distant Episode
Credit: Production still by Yuki Yamamoto

A scene from A Distant Episode in Ben Rivers’ The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers

A scene from A Distant Episode in Ben Rivers’ The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers

The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (2015)

The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (2015)

Rivers shooting behind the scenes of Oliver Laxe’s Las Mimosas on location in Morocco

Rivers shooting behind the scenes of Oliver Laxe’s Las Mimosas on location in Morocco

A scene from Olivier Laxe’s Las Mimosas in Ben Rivers’ The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers

A scene from Olivier Laxe’s Las Mimosas in Ben Rivers’ The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers

Oliver Laxe playing the protagonist in A Distant Episode for Ben Rivers’ The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers

Oliver Laxe playing the protagonist in A Distant Episode for Ben Rivers’ The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers

The Drama Block at the former BBC Television Centre

The Drama Block at the former BBC Television Centre

The Drama Block’s setting floor room

The Drama Block’s setting floor room
Credit: Nick Wood

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