Thursday, November 15, 2012

The 1960-70s. Structural/Materialist Film. Flickers. Paracinema.

Ken Jacobs, Window - 1964 (9 min)

The only way an image is captured on film is to have light hit the surface of unexposed film stock (that and one would have to develop the film stock to see the image). Jacobs seems to use the window frame to direct light to the lens, thus exposing the film inside the camera. He also seems to be attracted to the textures of the surfaces he is filming.

We are presented a 2 frame representation of a female figure with a looping set of letters (EASTMAN) cut off at the sprocket holes. Part of the metal devise to hold the film is also visible. This is a film referring to the mechanism of film --- the sprocket holes, essential to properly run film through a projector. I almost thought the woman started to smile, like the Mona Lisa. 

Kurt Kren, 15/67: TV - 1967 (4 min)

I am reminded of blinking --- that there is a slight loss of information regarding what we are looking at at a particular time. There is a repetitive nature to the image and the structure of the images, i.e. the viewer not only sees the same images repeated, but the same groups of images repeated, almost like the chorus of a song repeating.

Peter Greenaway, Intervals - 1969 (6 min)

This film presents filmic clips and near still images together with a mechanical and vocal soundtrack. When another layer is added, the man in the foreground, a sound is introduced in sync with the "interruption". Just as in 15/67: TV(1967), Greenway seems to use the repeating song-like structure in this film.

Malcolm Le Grice,  Berlin Horse - 1970 (6 min)

There is a very interesting effect happening throughout this film with the angle of the image. I am referring to the effect of watching standing in front of the screen, and then proceeding to walk to either of the sides of the screen and viewing from that perspective. Parts of this film also look as though they have been solarized during development. 

Su Friedrich, Scar Tissue - 1979 (6 min)

Taking the title literally, I view the black sections between each clip as the "scar tissue" of the film --- as though the film emulsion cannot be developed over the "scars" (using tattooing as a reference). Then there are white sections, which keeping with the same theme, was an attempt to add content that did not take. I only recall seeing faces twice, otherwise just feet, legs, and torsos, as though detaching the person form the figure.

1 comment:

  1. Jess,

    I was very excited to see that Kren's "15/67 TV" reminded you of blinking because that is a crucial part of what I was trying to communicate in my presentation on "Anticipation of the Night," and, on a larger scale, the reading of avant-garde cinema that I am doing in my blog. What you are referring to as the "blinking" is what Heiedegger (appropriating from Kierkegaard and Luther) calls the "augenblick," the moment of vision, the glance/blink of the eye. I am arguing that it is precisely the augenblick which interrupts the gaze, and allows for the [im]possibility of any meaning and re-contextualization.

    As always, great post!