Interview with Martin Wood: A Filmmaker’s Journey into Research

Author: James Rowlins, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore
Published: June 2016

Citation: Rowlins, R. (2016). Interview with Martin Wood: A Filmmaker’s Journey into Research. IAFOR Journal of Media, Communication & Film, 3(1).


A line of flight is something that pushes back or constitutes a form of resistance against the confines of modern life, be it social, psychological or physical. Lines of Flight (Brown & Wood, 2009) teases out a relationship between twentieth-century economic labour in England’s metropolitan north, the world of mass-culture that people inhabit today, and solo rock climbing – ascending a rock face without using any ropes, harnesses or other protective equipment – on the outcrops and crags at the margins of what are now termed the inner cities. The film is punctuated by quotes from poetry, literature and philosophy. Footage explores the industriousness of modernity and asks critical questions about the postmodern present. Shots of mills and works and an out-of-town retail park with its familiar “brand-scape”, counterpoised with the wild upland countryside, urge an embodied spectator to engage individually with the film and reflect on the same subject matter the filmmakers are musing about. Climbing then becomes a political act and soloing its purest expression. Lines of Flight has received exposure and prizes at international film competitions and was a category winner at the IAFOR Documentary Film Award 2014.


film essay, university research, Henri Louis Bergson, Gilles Deleuze, Albert Camus, Félix Guattari, postmodern, industrialisation, globalisation, North of England, form and thought