Our celebration of film making talent continues, and this week #ScreenNation takes in the work of Director Darnell Depradine. 1o months after part one, Depradine returns with the second instalment in the ‘Dear Male Ego’ story, “The aim of the second part of this film is to elaborate on the messages of the first film.” Darnell explains, “I wanted to give a more accurate representation of my opinion and show more of what I could do as a filmmaker.”
Throughout part one, Darnell examined the psyche of the contemporary male, the toxicity in rigid masculinity and the sensitivity needed to navigate ever changing gender roles. The new visual EP has a soundtrack featuring some of the brightest upcoming production and songwriting talent. Spoken word artist Thea Gajic, Navan, further music production from Anjelo Disons who also features as a performer and Justina Bryce all bring music production skills to part two. “Thea is a director and actress who also does spoken word, you can find her on Jorja Smith’s ‘Project 11’ and also A2’s latest project ‘BLUE’. Anjelo is a soulful artist and Navan are a versatile duo that I work with frequently. Justina is a music producer who created a lot of the music in the first film. We all worked to together to try and make music that would suit the messages within the film and flow nicely together. We really tried to go for a more subtle feel but also still nice to listen to at the same time and I’m glad we achieved that.”
As with all story telling, the return to a certain subject can prove difficult; even more so when the subject at hand is the ever evolving landscape of gender and equality, Darnell explains his approach, “Returning to this story was hard because I had to think of ways to explore the same theme in a different way. I had to think of ways to differentiate number 1 from 2 visually as well as musically.” Darnell’s approach as a director continues to evolve and in part two of ‘Dear Male Ego’ Darnell propels the narrative further than before, questioning the intersections of the masculine and the feminine, “My approach to film making has changed. When making this project, I feel I went deeper into my thoughts and emotions to see what I could express in the format of a film. I used a lot of inspiration from different places to try and create my own style which I think worked really well here.”
Giving voice to the muddled landscape of the modern male, Director Darnell Depradine invites us all to consider the impact of societal constructs about gender and the sometimes performative nature of masculinity that can be used to mask the hurt.