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Recordings Recovered from the House of Leaves

A closet becomes a hallway and a hallway a vast labyrinth. Will Navidson explores his odd house in Virginia. Stars Jim Norton.

Adapted by Mike Walker.

"The Navidson Record now stands as part of this country's cultural experience and yet, in spite of the fact that hundreds of thousands of people have seen it, the film continues to remain an enigma. Some insist it must be true, others believe it is a trick on a par with the Orson Welles radio romp The War of the Worlds. Many more have never even heard of it."

With these words Zampano preludes the excerpts from an extraordinary film, cut together by Will Navidson from cameras located within his house and those he took with him into the labyrinth that had sprung up there over the course of a few days.

According to the Navidson record, it was when the family returned to the house from a trip to Seattle that they first discovered the additional door and the space behind it. Will Navidson, celebrated adventure photographer, was intrigued, his partner Karen insisted that the door be permanently locked. But one night after a row, Navidson opened the door and went in. He found rooms beyond rooms, all windowless, all unlit, and only narrowly escaped becoming lost forever in the labyrinth. Not long afterwards the spiral staircase appeared, corkscrewing downwards to a dark infinity. So Navidson equipped his brother Tom and others for an expedition, as if they were embarking on a quest into some architectural jungle. The cameras rolled and they descended, and here's the audio.

House of Leaves is the remarkable cult novel by Mark Z Danielewsky, a labyrinth of its own kind with its multiple interwoven narratives and textual tricks. This dramatic piece re-imagines the terrifying heart of the story.

The narrator in this production is Jim Norton who recently received both an Olivier award for the National Theatre production and a Tony for the hit Broadway production of Conor McPherson's The Seafarer, and is currently appearing again at the National in McPherson's new play The Veil.

Producer/Director: John Taylor
A Fiction Factory production for BBC Radio 4.

58 minutes

Last on

Mon 19 Oct 2015 00:00


Role Contributor
Zampano Jim Norton
Navidson William Hope
Karen Debora Weston
Tom Navidson Martin McDougall
Jed Leeder Jeff Mash
Holloway Richard Ridings
Reston Vinta Morgan
Daisy Eleanor Blaney
Author Mark Z Danielewski
Director John Taylor
Producer John Taylor