Larry Gottheim – Horizons (1973)

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One of the greatest if all-too-often overlooked landscape films in American cinema, Larry Gottheim’s HORIZONS displays a sensitivity to the seasons that seems more in keeping with Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” than the typical nature documentary. HORIZONS was not only Gottheim’s first feature-length work, it was also his first film to deploy rhythmic editing after several single-shot works. Working with Virgil’s four-part poem “Georgics” and Antonio Vivaldi’s concertos “The Four Seasons” as models, Gottheim arranged his painterly compositions into four distinct sections, each edited according to its own exacting pattern. The seasonal flux thus informs both the form and content of the image, with the basic elements of trees, sky, hills and the occasional crisscrossing clothesline filmed in every imaginable light. The resulting work is at once rigorous and meditative: a film that demands repeated viewings but captures the eye from the first. – Max Goldberg Continue reading