[Frameworks] Film's rupture

David Baker dbaker1 at hvc.rr.com
Mon Apr 18 14:06:02 CDT 2011


Mark,

Sheepishly I follow your staggering erudition
with one more:

the musical interlude "Are You Havin' Any Fun?"
(an outtake) included
in Ken Jacobs's STAR SPANGLED TO DEATH
wherein the singer very nearly disintegrates
with the film's decay.

DB







On Apr 18, 2011, at 2:47 PM, Mark Toscano wrote:

> In some Warner Bros cartoons, there’ll be a gag involving a hair in  
> the projector (e.g. Magical Maestro) or the framing going off (e.g.  
> Duck Amuck).  There are probably lots of examples of this kind of  
> thing in various Warner Bros cartoons.
>
> The trailer for the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead features a  
> moment where the film seems to catch in the gate and burn.  I think  
> there’s a moment like this in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter too.
>
> In Fight Club, there’s a sequence of Brad Pitt splicing a few frames  
> of porn into family movies, although (to be dorky about it), the  
> effect as demonstrated doesn’t take into account the 20-frame lapse  
> between picture and sound in 35mm.  He also talks about changeover  
> cues, and there’s a repeat of the porno frames gag at the end of the  
> film.
>
> The end of Monty Python and the Holy Grail involves an abrupt break  
> in the film.
>
> In Robert Swarthe’s hand-painted Oscar-nominated short Kick Me,  
> there are several gags involving the materiality of film (like the  
> little figure walking on the countdown leader).
>
> In avant-garde film, there’re probably tons of examples, but here  
> are a few that come to mind:
>
> Paul Sharits’ S:TREAM:S:S:ECTION:S:ECTION:S:S:ECTIONED is all about  
> scratches.
>
> Pat O’Neill’s Saugus Series has a remarkable sequence in which three  
> vertical scratches in the film, “dancing” in sync with a waltz on  
> the soundtrack, start to ooze paint down the “surface” of the film.
>
> Peter Rose’s Secondary Currents ends with the film (composed  
> entirely of various white-on-black titles and subtitles) going  
> haywire and exploding into clear leader with more or less unreadable  
> color magic marker text streaming by.  Each print is hand-modified  
> in this way by Peter.  I think rupture is particularly relevant here.
>
> You mentioned Peter Tscherkassky already, but he has several others,  
> including Manufraktur, Dream Work, L’Arrivee, and Instructions for a  
> Light and Sound Machine.
>
> Brakhage was also mentioned, but his birth film Thigh Line Lyre  
> Triangular seems to erupt out of (and at the end, retreat back into)  
> the blackness of film leader, in a powerful visual reference to birth.
>
> Some Owen Land (formerly George Landow) films apply: Film in Which  
> There Appear Edge Lettering, Sprocket Holes, Dirt Particles, Etc.,  
> Bardo Follies, On the Marriage Broker Joke as Cited by Sigmund Freud  
> in Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious or Can the Avant-Garde  
> Artist Be Wholed? …
>
> Morgan Fisher’s Standard Gauge is perhaps a unique example.
>
> David Gatten’s The Secret History of the Dividing Line features  
> sequences of film town vertically in half and spliced back together,  
> leaving a jagged gap.  Frederique Devaux and many others have worked  
> with recomposing torn footage too.
>
> David Rimmer’s films Surfacing on the Thames exploits the original  
> surface texture of the source footage beautifully, one of my  
> favorites.
>
> Many of Zack Stiglicz’s films exploit the fragility and materiality  
> of color negative film in particular, and his prints were often  
> uniquely hand-modified with additional scratching and whatnot too.   
> A lot of his color neg films were deliberately not cleaned and  
> printed dry-gate to ensure the maximum of negative splices,  
> scratches, dirt showing up as white forms and textures on the  
> prints.  His films look scarred.
>
> JJ Murphy’s Print Generation was made by taking the same 1 minute of  
> footage (comprising 60 1-second shots) and duplicating it over and  
> over until he had gone 50 generations from the original.  The 50 1- 
> minute generations were then sequenced 49, 47, 45, etc. down to 1  
> (in the center of the film), then 2, 4, 6, etc. all the way out to  
> 50.  The image transforms radically throughout the film as a direct  
> result of the material properties of film and the artifacts and  
> degradation that occur in its duplication.
>
> Chris Langdon’s Picasso and The Last Interview With P. Passolini  
> were deliberately scratched and processed somewhat dirty to look  
> like found films, oldero bjects.  Her collaboration with Fred  
> Worden, Venusville, plays a lot with hairs, dirt, and scratches in  
> film texture, even making some great jokes about the purity and  
> clarity of the image.
>
> Ben Van Meter’s Acid Mantra culminates in an extended sequence of  
> heavily reticulated Ektachrome film that gets increasingly degraded,  
> seeming at times to be falling off the screen in clumps.
>
> David Wilson (Museum of Jurassic Technology) has an early film  
> called Saturn Cycle.  One sequence features heavily scratched black  
> leader over which a small dancing woman is periodically  
> superimposed.  The whole composition loops multiple times, before  
> retreating backwards and being overtaken by footage of trains  
> streaking by.  Best part of the film, too.  Sort of a rupture in a  
> rupture in a rupture.
>
> Robert Huot’s film Scratch is a scratch down black leader.
>
> Roberta Friedman and Grahame Weinbren have a few films which might  
> be relevant – Future Perfect has an ever-escalating series of  
> markings on it that eventually turn into constant vertical  
> markings.  Prints of Murray and Max Talk About Money were  
> individually hole punched several times in one particular sequence  
> near the film’s end.
>
> When Thai censors only agreed to let Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s  
> film Syndromes and a Century show in Thailand if he removed certain  
> sequences, he replaced those shots with equal length sections of  
> scratched black leader, which struck me as a brilliant way to call  
> the audience’s attention to the lunacy of their censorship.   
> Different kind of rupture here, but powerful.
>
> And I really hate to self-promote (really really really) but I have  
> a film called The Wofobs which features an intentional scratch  
> through the entire movie.  There, I said it.  Ugh.
>
> Mark T
>
>
> --- On Sun, 4/17/11, Anastasia Tsarkova <nastya.tsarkova at gmail.com>  
> wrote:
>
> From: Anastasia Tsarkova <nastya.tsarkova at gmail.com>
> Subject: [Frameworks] Film's rupture
> To: frameworks at jonasmekasfilms.com
> Date: Sunday, April 17, 2011, 4:06 PM
>
> Dear colleagues,
> Could you please tell me in which films (mostly non-experimental,  
> but experimental is also ok) we can observe the film's rupture and  
> the involving of film (as material) into the fictional world (just  
> like in Bergman's Persona & Peter Tscherkassky's Outer Space)? The  
> examples with the premeditated and non-accidental scrathes are also  
> worth a lot.
> Thanks in advance
> Best Regards,Anastasia
>
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