The Inertia Variations

I had known Matt and his family for several years when he asked me to work on his film ‘The Inertia Variations’. It was to be a film centering on a 12 hour radio show where he would interview prominent authorities on poingnant subjects with the intent to outline contemporary society and the direction it is taking.

It was also to be about Matt and his decision to step away from his career as a singer songwriter. The intent of the filmmaker Johanna St. Michaels was to get Matt to perform a new song written during the film production. It would be the first time he sang in over 16 years.

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As I filmed them walking we discovered this wall and a production still was shot.

As I filmed them walking we discovered this wall and a production still was shot.

Johanna St. Michaels directs Matt Johnson

Johanna St. Michaels directs Matt Johnson

The Radio show was incredibly intense - complex and multi layered.

The Radio show was incredibly intense - complex and multi layered.

Film director Tim Pope was a guest on the radio show

Film director Tim Pope was a guest on the radio show

Stefan Dickers who works at the Bishopsgate Institute was another interviewee

Stefan Dickers who works at the Bishopsgate Institute was another interviewee

Neil Maskell with Zeke Manyika

Neil Maskell with Zeke Manyika

During production Matt’s brother Andy passed and we would not work on the film again for over six months.

Andy was Matt’s older brother and a phenominal artist. If you know Matt’s music I hardly need say more. These pictures are the original artworks for ‘Soul Mining’ by Andy Dog. (RIP)

Andy was Matt’s older brother and a phenominal artist. If you know Matt’s music I hardly need say more. These pictures are the original artworks for ‘Soul Mining’ by Andy Dog. (RIP)

Matt Johnson Rough Trade Soul Mining Release
Matt and Zeke on the day of Matt’s first performance in 16 years.

Matt and Zeke on the day of Matt’s first performance in 16 years.

Norton Folgate is a street of huge historic significance - yet in the main is boarded up awaiting demolition and redevelopment

Norton Folgate is a street of huge historic significance - yet in the main is boarded up awaiting demolition and redevelopment

Towers of Liverpool Street begin to invade Shoreditch

Towers of Liverpool Street begin to invade Shoreditch

Matt is extremely proactive in council meetings with his attempts to stop big developers steam rolling the heritage of Shoreditch.

Matt is extremely proactive in council meetings with his attempts to stop big developers steam rolling the heritage of Shoreditch.

Matt Johnson Shoreditch

Much of the 12 hour radio show and the narrative of it was removed from the final edit of the film and the film itself became guided by the passing of Andrew. The song Matt wrote is about Andrew and his inevitable demise.

John Tottenham

John Tottenham

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Johanna and Matt - on a day I was filming Matt being interviewed as they walked.

Johanna and Matt - on a day I was filming Matt being interviewed as they walked.

Below are further images with Matt relating to the 30th Anniversary box set release of ‘Soul Mining’ and the 30th Anniversary screenings of ‘Infected’ at the ICA in London.

Matt on Brick Lane - just after his interview about the Soul Mining box set release.

Matt on Brick Lane - just after his interview about the Soul Mining box set release.

Matt with his brother Gerard - signing the Soul Mining Box set - Rough Trade Records

Matt with his brother Gerard - signing the Soul Mining Box set - Rough Trade Records

An Installation of Matt by the artist Peter Wilkins

An Installation of Matt by the artist Peter Wilkins

30th Anniversary screening of ‘Infected’ at the ICA London

30th Anniversary screening of ‘Infected’ at the ICA London

The story of the filming of ‘Infected’ and why it was produced is fascinating. Matt reasoned it would be too costly to tour the new album live and so the film was devised-the tour would be of cinemas and not music venues.

The story of the filming of ‘Infected’ and why it was produced is fascinating. Matt reasoned it would be too costly to tour the new album live and so the film was devised-the tour would be of cinemas and not music venues.

The budget allocated to the film was unprecedented at the time. It was a massive gamble.

The budget allocated to the film was unprecedented at the time. It was a massive gamble.

This You Tube clip is profoundly revealing. The ambition!

This is the 51st State of the U.S.A.

This is the 51st State of the U.S.A.