Daniel Barnett's WHITE HEART screening in Chicago 1/21/09

From: Patrick Friel (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Jan 06 2009 - 13:32:00 PST

White Light Cinema and The Nightingale are pleased to present a rare
screening of Daniel Barnettıs little-seen 1975 masterpiece WHITE HEART,
showing in an original reversal print. Barnettıs film is infrequently
screened and is not well known, to the general film-going audience or to
most experimental film aficionados alike.
It is one of those Œfamousı films that practically no one knows about. But
its advocates are passionate about it (mostly other filmmakers‹itıs greatly
admired by Nathaniel Dorsky, Phil Solomon, and Saul Levine, for example).
³Daniel Barnett is a leading experimental filmmaker who develops complex
metaphors in his films out of rephotography and other post-production
techniques. [Š] White Heart is his longest and most ambitious work.
ŒBarnett's film consists of many disparate images, chosen for their strong
sensual qualities, coupled with a labyrinthine and equally sensual
soundtrack. After establishing the basic images, Barnett begins to
interweave them, exaggerating certain qualities (color, texture) during
printing. A mundane shot of a man jerkily spraying down an empty lot is
adjusted so his shirt becomes a brilliant red glare. A super close-up of a
fingertip holding a match is contrasty enough so every particle of sweat
glistens in the lens. Concurrent sounds are similarly exaggerated and
contribute to the sensual wash.... Shots are joined so that each moment
resonates differently in time.ı (Steve Anker, in Visions). White Heart takes
off from a series of Wittgensteinian monologues which illustrate, as Konrad
Steiner writes in Cinematograph (1985), Œthe huge difference in the quality
of knowledge we have about the experience of others, and that which we have
about our own.ı It goes on to investigate meaning, in a manner which Steiner
likens to the painter Cezanne: Œ[The film has a] chaotic livelihood, [a]
sense of gathering meanings right before my eyes. In this way the film is
ABOUT the genesis of meaning.... [Cezanne's] still lifes and landscapes
depict a threshold of vision or perhaps an ur-vision, before the objects of
that vision have been fully assimilated into the familiar, expected
appearances through the action of the eye-mind. Likewise, Barnett's film
depicts a threshold of meaning. We are presented with a weave of sound and
image not committed to a precisely rigid message....ı² (Pacific Film
³People describe this film as a machine thatıs constantly on its way to
breaking down. And thatıs part of its seediness and its humor. For me that
description of it sums up that quality ofŠumŠI mean thereıs almost a way in
which I really do see the whole film as the outfielder chasing the fly ball.
And on the way to the fly ball he trips over second base. He gets lost in
the color of the grass.² (Daniel Barnett)
WHITE HEART (1975, 53 minutes, vintage 16mm reversal print, color, sound):
Directed by Daniel Barnett.
Daniel Barnett studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has
taught filmmaking at SUNY Binghamton and at Massachusetts College of Art,
and the San Francisco Art Institute. In addition to being an experimental
film and video maker, he has worked professionally as a film editor and
optical printing specialist and was the Executive Producer for Educational
Projects at bePictures. He recently published the book Movement as Meaning:
In Experimental Film.
This program screens Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 8:00pm at The
Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee Ave.).
Admission: $7.00-10.00 sliding scale
Website: www.whitelightcinema.com
WHITE LIGHT CINEMA is an alternative film screening series designed to
complement the programming of other local film venues and organizations by
presenting, alone and in collaboration, rare, obscure, overlooked, and
resolutely non-commercial films and videos that have either not been
screened in Chicago or have not shown in years.
While focusing heavily on great works by avant-garde film masters, the
series aims to include both retrospective and contemporary films and videos
that range across a wide spectrum of alternative cinema. White Light Cinema
will present works demonstrating significant aesthetic merit, originality of
vision, radical and commanding investigations of form, and challenging
provocations to mainstream film and media conventions.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.