1971-1980ExperimentalHollis FramptonUSA

Hollis Frampton – Hapax Legomena III: Critical Mass (1971) (HD)


While visiting SUNY Binghamton, Frampton asked for the two most “volatile” acting students and had them improvise an argument. It was his first time utilizing actors, and the results aren’t bad. Of course, much of the credit belongs to the two young performers, who were only given a basic starting point and did all the work themselves. The woman (Barbara DiBenedetto) in particular is on fire… kind of a shame that she has no other screen credits. So where does Frampton come in? He stutters and repeats the film, amplifying the intensity and giving a sense that this is a perpetual, ongoing argument. At first it’s just a black screen (I would assume because the audio was rolling before the camera was set up, but I don’t know) and the sound of lines and fragments of lines being repeated is merely annoying, but once it gets melded with the image it lends the piece a crazy, stilted momentum. I would say this one is better for the performances than the concept, but either way it’s worth watching.



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