Pantha Puncha, 2018, Al Brydon, still 1
Pantha Puncha, 2018, Al Brydon

Al Brydon introduces his short landscape film ‘Pantha Puncha’, and tells the tale of a late night encounter with a shadowy creature.

Mythology and landscape are on kissing terms. Forgotten stories just out of earshot. Whispered echoes. Leaves rustle. From mother to son.

I wanted to make photographs that moved slightly. Fixed compositions that allowed the serendipity of unfettered natural movement to take place. As with many intentions, this was to accompany a series of photographs until it became something on its own accord. The tale that gave its name and basis to the film is somewhat preposterous, but it is the truth as far as I can recall.

Picture the scene.

You are stood in a dark pub car park. It’s out in the countryside with moorland stretching away on either side. It’s lit from the warm welcoming lights of the bar, but only slightly. The main source of light is one solitary lamppost, which projects a beam onto the floor graduating outwards into darkness. There is a bit in-between the light and the dark. A zone of confusing shapes and imagined horrors, not pitch black but not far off. Your friend announces she is going to the bathroom before you head off. You are left on your own, standing next to your car, sucking on your vape pen like it’s the ghost of a cigarette. You see something moving, sat down on the ground. It is roughly 4 or 5 metres away. You think it must be a fox. This is England right? It must be that. But this is much bigger than a fox. It seems to be the size of a large dog but longer and thinner. It is completely black and has a very long thin tail. You stare some more. It hunkers down and seems to notice you for the first time and, while still low to the ground, stalks off into the dark beyond. It has gone. The whole experience lasted for roughly five seconds. Your friend returns from the bathroom and you try and explain in an animated fashion what you think you have just seen. (And I emphasize the word ‘think’).

She believes you. You go home.

Pantha Puncha : Mythical punk rock band name made up forty minutes after first and only potential alien big cat sighting – 22/8/2017

Pantha Puncha, 2018
Music by Iain Murdoch
Moving Images by Al Brydon

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MIA Issue 2 May 2020