L'Ange (1976-82/Patrick Bokanowski/France) ++++
Words are helpless to describe the visual impressions of cinema, moreso when no reference to wellknown conventions and clichés can be made. This Avant Garde piece is an hypnotic trip constructed on a light/darkness stacatto, precautious frame by frame decomposition, recurrent action, repetition and variation. A wonderful work on lighting texture in a sepia hue and a precise editing assemblage. This one hour long montage is roughly divided into a 5 fold installment, examining 5 different scenes with the same technical experiments. Entirely silent with an added score composed by his wife Michèle Bokanowski, for a concrete music string quartet.
Patrick Bokanowski, an artist born in 1943, painter, photographer and filmmaker, lives and work in Paris. Experimenting optical effects of reflective surfaces, diffraction, liquid mirrors, distorted perspectives, motion and stillness with 2 feature length films and 5 short films in 16 mm.Probably the inspiration of the work of todays austrian Avant Garde (Tscherkawski, Widrich, Müller, Fruhauf)
A man with a japanese katana stabs on and on a porcelaine doll hanging from the ceiling at eye level on a wire. The first shot opens on a freeze-frame, the doll hit at the end of a dark corridor, paralyzed in a motion-blur, unrecognizable. Suddenly motion gives sense to this abstract image. This short sequence is played over and over, identical from various angles, backward and forward, step-by-step, superimposition of a delayed motion, homage to the chronographic studies of Eadweard Muybridge at the origin of cinema. (video sample)
Down in a librairy archive, glasses wearing book-rats patrol the shelves and stack piles of books on the scribe's desk who record them on the registry. This routine goes on faster with more clerks and more books each time, like a studious anthill. The precipitation of chain workers and the overwhelming accumulation of books is administered with fatalistic resignation.
In the style of an archaic silent comedy, a man with a melon hat and a big moustache takes his bubble bath with a dog. The many takes are interspreced in a cataractous editing. Many surrealist visions emerging from darkness, flashed by aesthetical spotlights. Strobe-lit staircase reminiscent of the etchings of Piranese's prisons. A naked woman in a giant cube.
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