‘In a broken old port town stranded deep up north, a strange, magical, shrine-like building has appeared. in a neighbourhood falling into such profound decline that the street lights have been switched off and many houses have been boarded up waiting for new development that may never come, one particular pebble dashed council house has mysteriously blossomed into new life, covered with ever more intricate and beautiful patterns, patterns made out of Fosters beer cans, like some alcoholic gingerbread house at the end of the world.
The Can House is a DIY social club, a lighthouse in a stormy sea: the big society’s drunk and it draws them in like moths to a flame. There’s a thousand stories on the side of that house: for every eight cans there’s a drunken man for every 150 they’ve had a party…
Tragically, the Can House soon faces demolition, to make way for a new flatpack Ikea style estate. The director of this film, seduced by the peculiar, bust-up beauty of the Can House, decided he had to create a record of it, and the life inside it.
The can House is a piece of contemporary folk art, made by Phil, a man on the margins of society, a man who’s life is in freefall. This is what you come up with when you run out of nothing- the Can House is an act of defiance, a two fingers up to the hand of fate, to a world slowly degenerating and disappearing. It is a memorial to alcoholism and to wasted lives, but it is also an act of creativity that gives Phil’s life a sense of meaning, that helps it make some kind of sense.’
Can House from Maxy Neil Bianco on Vimeo.