Rodaje de Echoes of Silence, (Peter Emanuel Goldman, 1965)
Some new and old highlights seen for the first time in 2013:
Redemption (Miguel Gomes, 2013)
The Ugly One (Eric Baudelaire, 2013)
Hours for Jerome, Part 2 (Nathaniel Dorsky, 1980–2)
’Til Madness Do Us Apart (Wang Bing, 2013)
A Casing Shelved (Michael Snow, 1970)
Side Seat Paintings Slides Sound Film (Michael Snow, 1970)
Slidelength (Michael Snow, 1971)
Echoes of Silence (Peter Emanuel Goldman, 1965)
Wheel of Ashes (Peter Emanuel Goldman, 1968)
The almost complete retrospective of the work of Warren Sonbert at Tate Modern in London. Seeing his work coming together here -in gorgeously restored 16 millimeter prints- gave the notion of associative polyphonic montage a somewhat new meaning. Lyrical but not diaristic in the strict sense (a term Sonbert scorned), he wanted his work to be perceived as "a series of arguments, with each image, shot, a statement to be read and digested in turn." Using both horizontals and diagonals as vectors by which to generate movement (a lot of the footage is shot from vehicles such as trains, cars, planes) Sonbert is an attentive observer of the immediate surroundings of his daily life, his friends and fellow artists, but also an intriguing observer of the world at large and the individuals within it.
Rose Lowder visiting Stockholm. In addition to the screening of some of her most captivating works, such as the two-projector-one-screen piece Certaines observations (1979) and the rigorous -recorded frame by frame in the camera- tour de force study Rue Des Teinturiers (1979), this was a rare occasion to have a closer look at the sketches, diagrams, drawings, that are part of the structural backbone of this prominent advocate of ecological filmmaking.
In a more local context, seeing En Film - En Antifilm - En FilmFilm (Carl Slättne, 1964), an inverted Gertrude Steinian invective by this “optical agitator” directed against the Swedish media-establishment, was a fine rediscovery. Slättne was loosely affiliated with the Second Situationist International, and his films were screened at the film festival that Jørgen Nash and his cohorts organized in the south of Sweden during the Sixties.
Released on DVD by OEI editör and Amundön in 2012, but worth mentioning here, U-barn is a short experimental film by Swedish artist Öyvind Fahlström, made in 1968. This film was made during a period when Fahlström was interested in psychedelics, the effects of LSD, and genetic imprinting, i.e., handicaps of some kind, and part of the film is made up of sequences dealing with how children behave in a class situation. Using a plethora of formal devices – freeze frames, rapturous montage, de-synchronized sound, time-lapse photography - this is a work of surprising complexity.
U-barn, (Öyvind Fahlström, 1968)
Martin Grennberger is a writer and editor of magasinetwalden, based in Stockholm.