From Fear
Sam Hasler

CAMPFA May 8th – May 25th 2019
I made this film in Rome late last year. Although I’ve been editing it again this week. I added some parts, I wanted to make it a bit too long for you to watch.

I made this film in Rome late last year. I was thinking about European horror films, vintage horror films from between the 60’s and 80’s. I walked the streets of Rome at night time and I took footage without planning it too much. The film has turned out like a kind of portrait of the city, and maybe a self portrait too in some ways.

Da Paura (From Fear), is Roman slang, it’s a way to express that you really like something. If something is really good then it’s ‘da paura’. I liked to say it when I was staying in Rome with a hint of irony to crudely/awkwardly seem to be ‘down with the kids’.

Most of the text in the film came about when I was writing insults to Rome. I’m not sure why but I wanted to describe the city in an insulting manner. Rome is ‘layered like a verruca’ for instance, thinking about how the city has these deep immovable roots, slightly painful, seemingly both static and yet busy, and sitting in this space between living and dead. Rome is ‘an epilepsy threatening to fit’ in as much as the atmosphere in the city feels always in a state of heightened anxiety; Rome can feel like a constant almost-emergency.

The cat in the film is a very old cat named Fragolina (Little Strawberry). Fragolina is not very much like a strawberry. Fragolina is about to die (although, people have always thought that ‘Fragolina is about to die’) Maybe she is dead; maybe already by the time you read this? Has it happened yet? There is a ghost that haunts the institution where I was staying when I was in Rome. The ghost of Eugénie Sellars Strong. I sometime like to think that somehow Eugénie and Fragolina (the never quite dead strawberry) are connected. I don’t believe in ghosts.

There is a re-filmed section of Eyes Without A Face that appears. I re-filmed parts of it when I was watching it in Rome. I was watching it on my laptop, in my studio, at night time. My research (if you can call it research) was focused on Italian horror films but Eyes Without a Face is an iconic French horror film.

Most of the audio was recorded in Rome, but there are some recordings from the live commentary of the world chess championships. Chess commentary is strange, the game is really slow. The commentators use the time between moves to play out a huge range of possible future scenarios. Often the commentators make as many as ten moves ahead of the actual game attempting to explore lots of possible outcomes to be able to best understand the current position. I don’t really know if this connects to European horror.

There is a part where colour has been added to the footage. To some degree this (maybe?) damages structure of the film (do you think it should have been two different films? Or more?) but I decided that it was worth trying to hold it all together in one crumbling structure of a film.

There was an infestation of ants in my room whilst I was staying in Rome.


Samuel Hasler lives and works in Cardiff. His approach to making artwork is varied, it includes writing, performance, printmaking and installations.