Brief synopsis :
Tragically blinded in a random street mugging, Hugues de Montalembert defied expectation and continued to travel the world, alone. In Black Sun film-maker and composer Gary Tarn constructs a poetic meditation on an extraordinary life without vision.
Black Sun documents the artist’s will to live a full life, free of fear and impediment. Opening with aerial shots of New York, Montalembert describes the violent events that left him sightless. As he does, identifiable images meld together into a palette of colours, finally becoming little more than a spectrum of lights, slowly dimming, until we are left with the ‘dark honey’ glow that Montalembart tells us he has lived with for the last twenty-eight years. He candidly describes his refusal to go through the motions that doctors told him were the steps to his recovery – nervous breakdown, acceptance of disability, rehabilitation and adapting to a new life full of restrictions – instead setting out his own plan, which would see him travel alone to Indonesia within 18 months of the attack. From there he journeyed to Bali, where he began to write down his experiences. The resulting book became an international bestseller. Since then, Montalembert has continued to travel and write.
“PASSION is a personal film-journey in which Reble accompanies his unborn child through a ritual, following the seasons until his birth. Reble’s unfamiliar chemistry generates slowly pulsating structures and colors. Micro- and macroscopic imagery build a near-abstract, hypnotic landscape — an intimate perception of creation..”
Jurgen Reble, former member of the German filmmaking group “Schmelzdahin” (dissolved in 1989), focuses on exploring the film material through bacterial processes, weathering and chemical treatment during and after development.
“The basic idea is that it is impossible to fix film. Film is something which is always in a state of flux… The images, “real” in the beginning, gradually disintegrate and the gelatine layer — where the chemicals are embedded — dissolves. All that’s left in the end is the ‘raging of the elements’..” Continue reading
The most remarkable discovery in recent German-language cinema: Gerhard Friedl’s first feature is a hypnotic visual puzzle at the interface of documentary, essay film and pulp fiction. On the soundtrack: an unflinchingly ‘objective’ account of the labyrinthine genealogies, criminal involvements and afflictions of Germany’s economic leaders in the 20th century. On the screen: pans and tracking shots through European financial centres, production sites and landscapes. The sheer depth and crispness of these images is a treat in itself; a transformation into cinégénie of what artists like Candida Höfer or Jeff Wall have done by means of still photography. At times, image and sound are aligned, at others they just miss each other. They invariably suggest correlations. Paranoia? Irony? Can the prosaic, criminal state of affairs of a modern economy be depicted at all? Pierre Rissient, the French film historian, puts the film where it belongs: “Fritz Lang would have loved it!” Continue reading
Format 16 mm colour
The term ‘visual arts’ that is prevailing in modernity is really a symptom for the reduction of perceptional categories within the human creativity as a whole. An anthropological conception of art – and I have proved for instance in sculptural theory that you hear a sculpture before you see it, that consequently the auditive element is not just an equal part, but a constituent of the perception of plastic art – confronts you with the task of exploring the conception of creativity in all directions, of spreading it out and substantiating it anthropologically. So for instance, the human creativity potential as a whole doesn’t only comprise the recognition criteria in thought, but it also comprises the sensational categories in the middle of the soul, that is, the moving element, and it positively comprises the will potential in human will. It is this interpretation of human creativity potential, beginning with the triple position, the connections of will, sense, and thought categories, which will get you to the more differentiated position of considering the perception, too, and thus the connection of human senses, discovering that for example seeing, the visual sense, the auditory sense, the static sense, the architectonic sense, the haptic sense, can be thought forward into the sense of feeling, the sense of will, the sense of thinking, and many other still to be developed senses. Continue reading
NB: there is no audio track: Maenza’s films were never mastered or fitted with sound. This rip comes from a digitized work print. His films were sometimes screened with live voice performance commenting on and/or enacting what unrolls visually. The text that was read by performers during the few screenings this had at the time it was made can be read HERE (or via googletranslate)
In December 1968 I participated in the film Orpheus Shot on the Battlefield, which originated as a collective work, a movie without an author, but which would ultimately be attributed to Antonio Maenza in the end even though he only played the role of the director in the film. The film, which was never provided a soundtrack, was screened on several occasions with a soundtrack performed live consisting of a text for three voices and a number of musical pieces, among which were the “descent into hell” from the opera L’Orfeo by Monteverdi in the version by Edward H. Tarr, released in 1968 by Erato, “New York 1963 – America 1968” from Every One of Us by Eric Burdon and the Animals; and “The Return of the Son of the Monster Magnet” from Freak Out by [Frank Zappa and] The Mothers of Invention. After the “state of emergency” in January 1969, an epilogue was shot but it was never developed. Continue reading
This film stands out as a fine example of the Zanzibar movement in France, and as a metaphor for the spirit of repression lived during that era. The film itself was recorded mostly near german concentration camps, and the crew had a lot of problems with the police, nonetheless they managed to shoot a really wonderful film, a continous portrait of escape through dark and gray landscapes much to the reminder of the wonderful text by Gorky, which starts: “Last night I was in the Kingdom of Shadows”.
–fitz Continue reading
More sombre, controlled and abstract than Bene’s earlier work, this is a baroque, ironic and claustrophobic avant-garde ‘restatement’ of the opera’s incest episode. Accompanied by Mozart’s score, this compulsive, cubist fragmentation of conventional plot in favour of a more profound exploration also utilizes complex, subtle montage, varying from minimal cinema to a sustained staccato rhythm. Bene is reconfirmed as one of the true iconoclastic talents of contemporary cinema. Continue reading