Re: [Frameworks] Film's rupture

From: David Baker <>
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2011 15:06:02 -0400


Sheepishly I follow your staggering erudition
with one more:

the musical interlude "Are You Havin' Any Fun?"
(an outtake) included
wherein the singer very nearly disintegrates
with the film's decay.


On Apr 18, 2011, at 2:47 PM, Mark Toscano wrote:

> In some Warner Bros cartoons, there’ll be a gag involving a hair in
> the projector (e.g. Magical Maestro) or the framing going off (e.g.
> Duck Amuck). There are probably lots of examples of this kind of
> thing in various Warner Bros cartoons.
> The trailer for the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead features a
> moment where the film seems to catch in the gate and burn. I think
> there’s a moment like this in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter too.
> In Fight Club, there’s a sequence of Brad Pitt splicing a few frames
> of porn into family movies, although (to be dorky about it), the
> effect as demonstrated doesn’t take into account the 20-frame lapse
> between picture and sound in 35mm. He also talks about changeover
> cues, and there’s a repeat of the porno frames gag at the end of the
> film.
> The end of Monty Python and the Holy Grail involves an abrupt break
> in the film.
> In Robert Swarthe’s hand-painted Oscar-nominated short Kick Me,
> there are several gags involving the materiality of film (like the
> little figure walking on the countdown leader).
> In avant-garde film, there’re probably tons of examples, but here
> are a few that come to mind:
> Paul Sharits’ S:TREAM:S:S:ECTION:S:ECTION:S:S:ECTIONED is all about
> scratches.
> Pat O’Neill’s Saugus Series has a remarkable sequence in which three
> vertical scratches in the film, “dancing” in sync with a waltz on
> the soundtrack, start to ooze paint down the “surface” of the film.
> Peter Rose’s Secondary Currents ends with the film (composed
> entirely of various white-on-black titles and subtitles) going
> haywire and exploding into clear leader with more or less unreadable
> color magic marker text streaming by. Each print is hand-modified
> in this way by Peter. I think rupture is particularly relevant here.
> You mentioned Peter Tscherkassky already, but he has several others,
> including Manufraktur, Dream Work, L’Arrivee, and Instructions for a
> Light and Sound Machine.
> Brakhage was also mentioned, but his birth film Thigh Line Lyre
> Triangular seems to erupt out of (and at the end, retreat back into)
> the blackness of film leader, in a powerful visual reference to birth.
> Some Owen Land (formerly George Landow) films apply: Film in Which
> There Appear Edge Lettering, Sprocket Holes, Dirt Particles, Etc.,
> Bardo Follies, On the Marriage Broker Joke as Cited by Sigmund Freud
> in Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious or Can the Avant-Garde
> Artist Be Wholed? …
> Morgan Fisher’s Standard Gauge is perhaps a unique example.
> David Gatten’s The Secret History of the Dividing Line features
> sequences of film town vertically in half and spliced back together,
> leaving a jagged gap. Frederique Devaux and many others have worked
> with recomposing torn footage too.
> David Rimmer’s films Surfacing on the Thames exploits the original
> surface texture of the source footage beautifully, one of my
> favorites.
> Many of Zack Stiglicz’s films exploit the fragility and materiality
> of color negative film in particular, and his prints were often
> uniquely hand-modified with additional scratching and whatnot too.
> A lot of his color neg films were deliberately not cleaned and
> printed dry-gate to ensure the maximum of negative splices,
> scratches, dirt showing up as white forms and textures on the
> prints. His films look scarred.
> JJ Murphy’s Print Generation was made by taking the same 1 minute of
> footage (comprising 60 1-second shots) and duplicating it over and
> over until he had gone 50 generations from the original. The 50 1-
> minute generations were then sequenced 49, 47, 45, etc. down to 1
> (in the center of the film), then 2, 4, 6, etc. all the way out to
> 50. The image transforms radically throughout the film as a direct
> result of the material properties of film and the artifacts and
> degradation that occur in its duplication.
> Chris Langdon’s Picasso and The Last Interview With P. Passolini
> were deliberately scratched and processed somewhat dirty to look
> like found films, oldero bjects. Her collaboration with Fred
> Worden, Venusville, plays a lot with hairs, dirt, and scratches in
> film texture, even making some great jokes about the purity and
> clarity of the image.
> Ben Van Meter’s Acid Mantra culminates in an extended sequence of
> heavily reticulated Ektachrome film that gets increasingly degraded,
> seeming at times to be falling off the screen in clumps.
> David Wilson (Museum of Jurassic Technology) has an early film
> called Saturn Cycle. One sequence features heavily scratched black
> leader over which a small dancing woman is periodically
> superimposed. The whole composition loops multiple times, before
> retreating backwards and being overtaken by footage of trains
> streaking by. Best part of the film, too. Sort of a rupture in a
> rupture in a rupture.
> Robert Huot’s film Scratch is a scratch down black leader.
> Roberta Friedman and Grahame Weinbren have a few films which might
> be relevant – Future Perfect has an ever-escalating series of
> markings on it that eventually turn into constant vertical
> markings. Prints of Murray and Max Talk About Money were
> individually hole punched several times in one particular sequence
> near the film’s end.
> When Thai censors only agreed to let Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s
> film Syndromes and a Century show in Thailand if he removed certain
> sequences, he replaced those shots with equal length sections of
> scratched black leader, which struck me as a brilliant way to call
> the audience’s attention to the lunacy of their censorship.
> Different kind of rupture here, but powerful.
> And I really hate to self-promote (really really really) but I have
> a film called The Wofobs which features an intentional scratch
> through the entire movie. There, I said it. Ugh.
> Mark T
> --- On Sun, 4/17/11, Anastasia Tsarkova <>
> wrote:
> From: Anastasia Tsarkova <>
> Subject: [Frameworks] Film's rupture
> To:
> Date: Sunday, April 17, 2011, 4:06 PM
> Dear colleagues,
> Could you please tell me in which films (mostly non-experimental,
> but experimental is also ok) we can observe the film's rupture and
> the involving of film (as material) into the fictional world (just
> like in Bergman's Persona & Peter Tscherkassky's Outer Space)? The
> examples with the premeditated and non-accidental scrathes are also
> worth a lot.
> Thanks in advance
> Best Regards,Anastasia
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Received on Mon Apr 18 2011 - 12:06:11 CDT