Chris Kennedy

“Fractured Movement/Constituent Parts.” July 18, 2012

Fractured Movement / Constituent Parts

The Academy Film Archive recently restored four films by Gary Beydler, bringing deserved wider attention to a distinctive voice from the vibrant Los Angeles art scene of the 1970s. Beydler’s Pasadena Freeway Stills begins with a sterile set-up—a man places a photograph of a car window on a glass sheet—and then turns into a stunning study of the creation of movement in motion pictures, as successively placed photographs physically animate a drive through the Figueroa tunnels just outside of Pasadena. For Venice Pier, Beydler divided the quarter-mile long pier into segments that he would shoot at random intervals during the course of an entire year. The edited film maintains a forward movement down the pier, but weather, atmosphere and light fluctuate in each segment, as Beydler shot these segments chronologically out of sequence.

Montreal engineer-turned-filmmaker Alexandre Larose’s Artifices #1, originally shot on Super 8 and blown up to 16mm, was filmed using a contraption designed to spin the camera while it was shooting, creating circles of light as the camera is driven through the highway tunnels of Montreal. For Ville Marie, the camera was also placed in a homemade apparatus and thrown off the roof of the fifty-storey Place Ville Marie in downtown Montreal. Larose optically prints the resulting footage into a tour de force of processed colour and abstracted movement, expanding the Super 8 image across the entire plane of 35mm film.

In David Kidman’s Stochastics, the artist walks through one military parading ground after another, as a series of still photographs become animated into a march that reveals the similar features of different war memorials around the world. Rose Lowder’s early film Couleurs mécaniques precedes the staccato frame-by-frame style that would become her trademark, instead basking in the pure colour of a children’s carousel, defocusing the image so that the motion of the carousel blends the colours into constellations of light. Alexi Manis’ The Observatory looks at the constellations of the night sky as sketched by her friend Jerry Spevak during evenings spent watching the stars.

Pasadena Freeway Stills dir. Gary Beydler | USA 1974 | 6 min. | 16mm
Artifices #1 dir. Alexandre Larose | Canada 2007 | 4 min. | 16mm
The Observatory dir. Alexi Manis | Canada 2004 | 4.5 min. | 16mm
Couleurs mécaniques dir. Rose Lowder | France 1979 | 16 min. | 16mm
Stochastics dir. David Kidman | France 2010 | 7 min. | 35mm
Ville Marie dir. Alexandre Larose | Canada 2009 | 12.5 min. | 35mm
Venice Pier dir. Gary Beydler | USA 1976 | 16 min. | 16m

Approx. total running time: 66 min.

Alexandre Larose and Alexi Manis in person.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 7:00 pm