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The Concept Work ‘Holly’
‘Holly’ is a concept work made by Holly IP consisting of a short film and these notes. Unlike a conventional artistic film or advertisement the film is not a stand-alone work. These notes are meant to give some explanation to the rather quirky accompanying film.
The Aim of the Concept Work
The main aim of producing ‘Holly’ is as a promotional work for the patent firm Holly IP. The film centres on the character Holly, and alludes to what she is, whilst at the same time touching on aspects of patent practice.
Who is Holly?
Holly IP’s website (www.hollyip.com) shows a slightly windswept-looking businesswoman. Many people assume this is ‘Holly’. The film depicts Holly, but leaves an ambiguity over whether she is a patent attorney, a metaphor for the ideal or someone remembered from the past.
The ambiguity over the nature of Holly was inspired by the US television series ‘Remington Steele’ starring Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist as detectives Remington Steele and Laura Holt. In the series Laura Holt opens a detective agency but finds that she is not getting work because women detectives do not have credibility. In order to address this she invents a fictitious male boss, Remington Steele. One day a gentleman turns up adamantly claiming to be Remington Steele. She knows he cannot be because Remington Steele is a figment of her imagination. The question of who he really is remains unanswered.
The Background Themes Depicted in ‘Holly’
The audience will notice that in different scenes of the film the pictures shown below appear. The pictures show a siren, a Christian pilgrim, an extract from ‘The Art of War’, a 12th century Russian icon of the Archangel Gabriel and the Buddha. These represent seduction, struggle, strategy, belief and enlightenment. The intention is to draw parallels with these aspects of human endeavour and the activity of obtaining patents.
Symbolism Within the Film
The film shows a conversation between an older man and a younger man as they play chess. We first see Holly teaching someone to play the violin. The dialogue between the men, the chess game and the playing of music symbolise the patent attorney’s interaction with an Examiner at the Patent Office. A chess player or a musician have the freedom to play as they want, but ultimately there are rules to follow if harmony is to be achieved. An Examiner’s searching scepticism is met with arguments and amendments, like a complex dance between intertwined lovers.
Struggle and Perseverance
Success does not often come easily. In one scene we see Holly struggling with a difficult patent case. In another scene we see a scientist pleading with Holly to recognise how much a patent application would mean to his company. He needs a bargaining chip to deal with competitors and protection for a product which is going to require a lot of investment to develop. It is a window into the practical implications of patent protection.
Some patents are difficult to obtain. It sometimes requires a passionate attorney with a strong belief in the invention to convey to the Examiner why the applicant is deserving of the patent. In the ideal world inventions might be easy to distinguish, but in the real world a potent combination of amendment, argument and data are needed to push a case through.
The End of the Film
The film ends with the older man conducting as Holly’s pupil plays. It is meant to signify the achievement of a harmony that can be reached when all parties work together. Metaphysical Aspects of Holly The film’s opening scene is of a chess game in order to make an explicit reference to ‘The Seventh Seal’. This is to invite the audience to question the meaning and purpose of what they see. In the film none of the characters ever touch each other, to leave it unclear as to who exists and who does not. The older man has three distinct roles, as a patent attorney, a scientist and a conductor. There is an intentional ambiguity over whether he is meant to be the same person throughout. As the narrator he is the anchor-point, but one that is not fixed.
Cast and Crew
‘Holly’ was produced and directed by Charles Duke of the Babarouge Film Company. Marie-Claire Rugman played Holly. David France played the older man. Duke Duffy played the younger man. Leila Wong played Holly’s pupil. Val Kapoor assisted with lighting.
Holly The Film