… and in the endless pause, there came the sound of bees.
The story of one small creature’s struggle to preserve a world in danger of being lost forever through recklessness and indifference.
Adapted and directed by Marc Craste, Varmints is a 24-minute film based on the award-winning book of the same name – written by Helen Ward and illustrated by Marc Craste – that tells the story of a lonely varmint, living in an idyllic world that is suddenly destroyed by the arrival of a grey, high rise city. He saves what he can and tries to re-establish something of his old world. But can he control what he creates and is he alone in his mission?
A crew of 35 people worked in three countries over a two year period to make the film, and an original score by Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson and sound design by Adrian Rhodes complete the picture
“Underpinning all this bleak beauty is a sweeping score, deeply mournful at times and industrially eerie or grandly orchestral at others” — written by the much mourned Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannson, who passed all too soon in 2018— The score to Varmints was written near the beginning of Jóhannson’s pivot from electronic chamber and ambient music toward something more cinematic—far before the composer of Englabörn and Virðulegu forsetar became better known for his work with director Denis Villeneuve on Prisoners, Sicario, and Arrival, or for his score for James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything. Yet it contains the same sort of subtle leitmotifs and atmospheric ambitions that Jóhannson achieves in any of his better-known compositions. (Its album version, entitled And in the Endless Pause There Came the Sound of Bees, adds an extra fifteen minutes of material and is all the better for it.) And, as with everything Jóhannson has composed, it holds space for both abyssal melancholy and a paper hope bridge above it, achieving a tender, if tenuous, balance over the dark. It is a fitting memorial. ”