Film in Flux

Macunias’s “Artype” seems like to have more in common with early abstract cinema than with Fluxus, the movement with which Macunias is associated. “Artype” feature a series of geometric shapes and patterns, culminating in a series of horizontal lines and an accelerating high pitched noise. Visual, this film was similar to some of the synchromy works that we watched early in the semester.

Brecht, a filmmaker also associated with Fluxus, has created a more obviously “fluxfilm” in “Entrance to Exit.” The content of the film consists entirely of two fades and the visible words “Entrance” (at the beginning) and “Exit” (at the end). In film form, this piece is probably less successful than its original incarnation as an audience participation event. For the film viewer, it almost seems like the world’s most simplistic narrative film, moving from a beginning, or entrance, to an end, or exit.

Frampton’s films share some commonalities with these Fluxus works. “Snowblind,” like “Artype,” is an exploration of patterns, with the occasional appearance of a man partially obscured behind mesh or chain. “Maxwell’s Demon,” a reference to theoretical physics, evokes Muybridge and Marey’s studies of motion in the images of a man doing pushups, which is intercut with color flashes more akin to structuralist film.

Sharits and Landow play with narrative expectations, authorial intent, and film materials in the films “Tails” and “Remedial Reading Comprehension,” respectively. Sharits’s work foregrounds the vertical motion and the finitude of the film strip, while Landow’s work plays with the concept of dreams and the gaze, as the film opens with a woman sleeping, while and audience emerges above her.

Michael Snow’s WVLNT was the most aesthetically pleasing of the works we watched this week. WVLNT is beautiful in its simplicity: it consists of superimposed images of interior space. Snow seems to be interrogating the interplay between time and space, the ultimate subject of film.

additions:

Yoko Ono’s film “One” consists of the lighting of a match. She achieves the creation of an archetypal light source through the use of a high speed camera, which extends the life of the match for the duration of five minutes. In a sense, “One” seems to be a form of pure cinema, in that its subject is light and duration.

Jeff perkins’s “Shout” exists as a sort of study in facial expressions. For 2.5 minutes, two men, one bespectacled, argue in various stages of apparent shouting, though the film does not include sound. The film enacts a defamiliarization, by foregoing the sound of an argument in favor of the visual experience of argument.

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One thought on “Film in Flux

  1. Jess says:

    Re: One (1965): I thought the flickering effect, that early cinema would have, was an interesting play with the wavering of the flame.

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