From: David Woods (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Mar 13 2006 - 07:09:20 PST
Purging my VUE (the vault of unsent emails) files recently, I came across a
couple of emails from some time ago, writ from the hip at the time, but
prophilactically not sent.
Now, with the choice of consigning them into the purgatorial randomness
which follows the delete button, or squirting them out into the
Frameworkerish domain, I have to choose which option best provides for their
Memorialization is in the forefront of my thoughts at the moment, having
just lost my younger brother and myself awaiting an angiogram in the same
hospital where my first medical accident ocurred. And working, as I am, on
the first film to employ The Holcus Effect, which adds new life to archive
images of the oft-dead, I am disinclined to annihilate earlier glimpses of
consciousness, and thus will disseminate them, for whatever value they might
have. So here they are, warts and all:
1: "I was sitting in a local multiplex waiting for michael Mann's
start, when a single-frame amateur lightning-strike effect re-presented
itself, an old friend, a shard from the past, last week mperhaps. It was a
poorly repaired torn frame from amid a length of "darkness" separating one
trailer or commercial from another, and it reminded my of the
subjectivities of pleasure.
I might have had a brief thought about Brakhage's signature or Lye's FREE
RADICALS, but instead I got to wondering what Frameworkers get to see, or
rather choose to see, on the big (commercial) screen.
Pip let slip recently that he'd seen M. Night Shyamalan's THE VILLAGE, and
liked it for (what appeared to be) narrative reasons, (while I rather liked
it's Wellsian tilt at the enormity of the Amerikan terror) and someone else
stated that Fred Camper likes to be alone ... in the cinema. Somehow I
read this cinema as the big one, and got to wondering what Fred chooses to
see among the commercial stuff out there.
One could argue that such private tendencies / tastes are just that, and not
for circulation, but as a broadly receptive type, easily taking in AG on a
par with the overground / hollywood / 35mm oeuvre, I'm mildly interested to
see whether Frameworkers are telephotic or wide-angled when it comes to what
The, at times, interesting dialogues in Mann's film (it's a neat script
concept to have the two protagonists locked in a taxi for the night,
legitimizing endless talk, which provides the meat of the film, interspersed
with de-rigeur set-piece choreographed violence for most of the feature,
until they take over for the last 1/5) gave as much pleasure as the
sophisticated framing, editing and metaphorical choice of urban images.
The 16:9 format was particularly well filled.
But as all hollywood things have, this had it's longeurs, during which I
again found myself guessing what Fred's favourite hollywood director might
be, sitting alone there in his darkened world, and, in mine, though not
unfortunately alone, I decided a pairing of Fred Camper and Douglas Sirk
seemed possible, and Pip Chodorof got linked with Kieslowski (MNS meets
art), and ............. then the film got interesting again.
Were I to have injected my own predilictions into such fantasy I'd probably
have end up with myself coupled with a print of VERTIGO, the music to which
raises the possibility of broadening this speculation on taste into the
realm of music, where, for my part, I'd be surrounded with lush polyphonies
Takemitsu, and Bridge, and, of course, Hermann. Oh, and Part. Or possible
loop of FREE RADICALS by Len Lye on some purgatorial wall.
So there you have it, the meanderings of an inveterate romantic cinema goer.
But I must stop, and go water my fungus film, still happily digesting itself
and printing-through a ghostly cyan image of the original sports footage
onto ever deeper layers. This film started to erode / evolve on Canal
Street when it was left out in the rain in 1967, and has been creating
itself ever since. I wonder which festival I will eventually submit it to?
Suitably sterilized of course.... The sound flutters rather than wows now,
and Messiaen's Music for the End of Time will be coopted to serenade the
decline of the West, suppressing the voice of the American narrator"
2: "I've been scanning and deleting the Winter in the City thread, having
consigned it to "not my thing at the moment" category, when I came across
Gene Youngblood's concise description of Dan Sandin's "Sister's Bay", viz.
"Way off target but also possibly of interest is Dan Sandin's "Sister's
Bay." The video screen is filled with a dense but quiet snowfall dropping
straight down, nothing else visible, churchbells pealing in the distance.
Dan stands in the middle of this whiteout and pulls focus, so that we move
through thick curtains of slowly descending flakes that crystallize and
vanish, crystallize and vanish."
And I was instantly transported back to the source image which led me, after
many struggles, to The Holcus Effect (THE), whereby one can transform
conventional 2D motion picture film to 3D by extracting and re-displaying
the 3D information, trapped, previously unrecognized, in the original. The
source image in my case was the movement of snow flakes, as one drives
forward in a snow storm, in curving in gently varying parabolas. Driven by
this image, I had first designed and built a computer controlled system,
purchased a pair of identically lensed Bolex H8 Standard 8mm cameras driven
by odometer cables from two stepping motors (to film a conventional 3D
stereo pair). And then THE took over, deflecting me into its demands of
research, development, patenting. And so as each Winter heralds its
approach by the nip in the air of the approaching Fall, I wonder, again, if
it will be this Winter that the parabolas drift towards the viewer.
So Gene's words, bringing Dan's images onto the screen, remind me of one of
the powers and values of Frameworks, wherein U / AG / EF films take-on an
extended life. And my thanks to Gene, and so many others over the years,
and Pip, for starting it all, go out.
Dr. David Woods M.B.K.S.
16 John Street
Hull HU2 8DH
tel. 44 (0)1482 323421
cel (0781) 259 1772
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.