The National Gallery is collaborating with the London Film School on 'Transcriptions: LFS Shorts', an innovative new project which involves second term students producing short 3-4 minute films inspired by the Gallery’s collection as part of their course.

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From the film-maker:


'Two Men playing Tric-trac, with a Woman scoring' by Willem Duyster. I grew up watching my father and grandfather playing backgammon and as a kid I always loved to roll the dice for them.

I think the popularity of backgammon as a game of chance in Iranian culture (and perhaps many Eastern cultures) says a lot about their way of life. The idea of chance and fate is much more prominent in those cultures than in the West where life is in general more orderly and planned; more like a game of chess!

There’s a feeling of dullness and idleness in the painting and its portrayal of its subjects, which struck me on first viewing. It’s as if the painter wanted to emphasize the powerlessness of his subjects against the game of chance: Tric-Trac. In my film, the main character is powerful and makes rational decisions to deal with her circumstance. But (thankfully!) she remains as powerless as the subjects of the painting in the “invisible hand” of chance.


Ali Jaberansari


A piece inspired by Willem Duyster, Two Men playing Tric-trac, with a Woman scoring, about 1625-30

Ali Jaberansari
The Tailor
MovieThe Tailor
Cheryl Ford