|MATERIALIST · STRUCTURALIST · IDEALIST · FILM|
|w/ Andreja Andric||10. maj 2016|
"DOMINANT CINEMA: In dominant cinema, a film sets up characters (however superficially deep their melodramas) and through identification and various reversals, climaxes, complications (usually in the same order) one aligns oneself unconsciously with one or more characters. These internal connections between viewer and viewed are based on systems of identification which demand primarily a passive audience, a passive viewer, one who is "involved" in the meaning that word has taken on within film-journalese, i.e. to be not involved, to get swept along through persuasive emotive devices employed by the film director. This system of cinematic functioning categorically rules out any dialectic. It is a cinematic functioning, it should be added, analogous on the part of the film director to that of the viewer, not to mention the producer, who is not a producer, who has no little investment in the staking out of the economics of such repression."
In 1976, Peter Gidal conveyed this criticism of mainstream, narrative cinema, suggesting instead how a materialist/structuralist approach to film could free cinema from the dominant illusionism and ideological repression of the viewer.
As opposed to the mainstream's postulate that "realism" relates to the film's photographic resemblance to the world, Gidal claims that only the screening event itself and the material substance of the film strip can be considered "real". Thus materialist filmmakers must strive to purify cinema to it's basic components - e.g. the single frame, light vs. darkness, pure colors, and so on - in order to empty it from illusionist content, and thereby confront the viewer directly with the viewing experience itself.
In this program, KaserneBiografen investigates how this materialist method has been rethought by the British director, Peter Greenaway, and the contemporary composer and filmmaker, Andreja Andric.
1. Vertical Features Remake (1978, Peter Greenaway) - 45 min
2. 60 Chords 60 Colors (2015, Andreja Andric) - 60 min
In "Vertical Features Remake" (1978), Peter Greenaway tells the story of the (fictive) ornithologist Tulse Luper and how his so-called "Vertical Features" project is being restored by the (also fictive) Institute of Reclamation and Restoration. Tulse Luper's idea was to make an encyclopedic film consisting of images with various vertical objects, organizing them in a strict compositional structure based on the number 11. Through an exploration of Luper's notes and sketches, the film is a part documentary about the restoration process and Luper's compulsive project, and part a reconstruction of Luper's structural film experiments.
Peter Greenaway has later explored how encyclopedic structures and mathematical systems can contribute to a narrative form in such films as "The Falls" (1980), "Drowning By Numbers" (1988) and "The Tulse Luper Suitcases" (2003).
A contemporary contribution to the materialist/structuralist film tradition is "60 Chords 60 Colors" (2015) by Andreja Andric. The film is made up of 60 pure colors paired with 60 pure chords that are shown and played for 60 seconds each - making the film run for a total of 60 minutes. In this approach, the film is a monumental pursuit to purify film into just color, tones, and metric duration, and in the spirit of materialist film, it invites the viewer to meditate on the film in a dialectical process, rather than just through narrative identification.
While a description of "60 Chords 60 Colors" borders on what can seem like a conceptual art work, it is exactly in the film's insistence on the idealist structure and it's monumental presentness that it transcends and becomes a meditative device through focusing the audience's attention on the viewing and hearing process itself.
After the screening, Andreja Andric will be there for an artist talk about the film and his thoughts behind it.
Andreja Andric (born 1973) is a Serbian sound artist and filmmaker, currently living in Aarhus. His chief interests lie in sound and visuals resulting from mathematical processes and chance. He exhibits and performs internationally, mainly with works that use computer programming as key means of artistic expression. For more information, visit: http://andrejaandric.altervista.org