top of page

Let Us Stay For A While

Paula Saraste ~ 2022


Something the title already alludes to the film Let us Stay for a While (2022) takes its conceptual inspiration from Jean-Luc Nancy’s proposal within the framework of different catastrophes: that we could remain exposed to and think about what is happening to us. It is we who are arriving and leaving and we who encounter catastrophic events or eras like the anthropocenic. In the film Let us Stay for a While the aeroplane as a symbol of human technical development - the human-machine - is destroyed, and a new kind of time initiates. 

Let us Stay for a While is a story about a weekend on a remote island, an adventure. The protagonists witness a mystical aeroplane accident and rescue one of the survivors to the island. Inexplicable things start to happen, the protagonists are thrown back to an altered mood and the island doesn’t seem to want them to leave. 

The film raises the question of what remains of us and what do we want to leave behind. What are the ways of staying and what of leaving? It also questions where we are going to, and it is ultimately a wish that we could stay for a bit longer. The idea of nature as something veiled and revealing itself to the human only slowly is thematized in the film - a mystical stone has been found on the island - and the protagonists’ understanding or knowledge of each other or what they perceive can not be perfect but only partial.

The work is a narrative digital film that stands at the confluence of the genre of psychological thriller and less traditional narrative dramaturgy. Aesthetically the film interweaves elements from the past with possible timeless and futuristic indications. The costume bears traces of the 1920’s Russian avant garde, scouts as well as military uniforms. A phenomenon widely present in literature (i.e. Francis Bacon, Johann Gottfried Schnabel), the island as a location has a special relation to time. In Let us Stay for a While it exists as a time-space, a temporalization between expectations of the end of the present age and narrative flashbacks on the level of dialogue.

A gallery version of the film will be on view at the Myymälä2 gallery in Helsinki on 30.6.-24.7.2022. Let us Stay for a While occupies the intersection of film and performance as Sara Kovamäki’s performative gestures intersperse between narrative passages and create a new kind of dialogue between the two media. The performance brings the narration towards the realms of dream and the unconscious. Having a different relation to time, both film and performance share an interest in the human experience. Time and montage as being essential questions for film encounter a different kind of time in the exhibition space - time that is not edited: presence.

one-channel-installation for exhibition space or screening

color, stereo, 4K, 2.35:1

30 minutes

Cast: Anka Graczyk, Alexander Zirkler, Andreas Markus and Bernhard Schill

Performances by Sara Kovamäki

Director of Photography Michael Clemens
Screenplay Paula Saraste and Daniel Redel
Art Director A.R.T. / Jules Hepp
Sound Recording Janne Vahtola
Sound Design Timo Puukko
Music Jonas Meyer
Camera Assistant Aarni Vaarnamo
Montage Paula Saraste
Color Grading Michael Clemens
1st Assistant Director Timo Puukko
2st Assistant Director Daniel Redel
Lightning Aarni Vaarnamo, Michael Clemens
Special Effects Juha Mattila
Assistant on set Marja Saraste
Conceived by Paula Saraste

The film is made possible by generous support from
The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture Finland AVEK
Arts Promotion Centre Finland
Ballhaus Rixdorf Studios Berlin

bottom of page