angelic conversations

From: Peter Snowdon (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jan 11 2009 - 15:08:06 PST

Dinorah de Jesús Rodriguez wrote:
> but hey, i'd really love to argue about whether Jarman shot at 3 or 6
> fps. any ideas anyone? i'm afraid i don't have the film in front of
> me, nor would it be easy to make an educated guess as far as this
> aspect of the work by viewing a youtube version. can anyone here post
> a link to Angelic Conversations?

In a film incorporating so many different forms of paradox, there is
also a major financial one. Jarman knew that the lower the budget, the
greater the personal freedom. So after three (Jarman would chuckle at
the term) "mainstream" films done in 35mm — and with Caravaggio long on
hold — Jarman went for his trusty Super-8 Nizo camera, that he got in
the '70s. He'd often used it to make short experimental films, including
some in a type of stop-motion photography where he shot only three or
six frames per second, and then projected the film at a comparably
"unnatural" speed. The effect resembles a dreamlike, or nightmarish,
magic lantern show. And so was The Angelic Conversation's unique style
born. Jarman joked that he did this to make the expensive film
cartridges last longer — each was good for only two and a half minutes —
but he clearly had more artistic visions in mind too (further proof that
you have to read Jarman's comments on his own work with more than a few
grains salt).

the youtube links to the 1985 live soundtrack performance in turin are
not a bad place to start perhaps:

since jarman claimed that one of the effects was to synchronise the
frame changes with the viewer's heartbeat, i would hope it was 3fps
maximum, or even less:)

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