Photo: Daybreak Express, D A Pennebaker, USA, 1953

Guy Sherwin & Various Artists

Film Programme 1: In + Out

Event

14 Apr 2007  •  DCA, Dundee
An exploration of personal space: inside and outside.
 
Includes: a polish counting lesson, around NYC with DA Pennebaker, a portrait of a tower block, a man with a spade, at home with KYTN regular Guy Sherwin, a cinematic Blair Witchish cut-up and a song for some swings. See below for videos that have online links.
 
 

Ide…/I am Going… Dir. JózefRobakowski, Poland, 1973, 3 mins, Beta SP

A film-performace realised on the parachute training tower in Łódź. An assemblage of cold objective images with the hot (biological) sound. A work made with a single shot, something which is a characteristic feature of many of Robakowski’s work. (Index DVD – The Energy Manifesto)

 

Daybreak Express, Dir. D A Pennebaker, USA, 1953, 5 mins, 16mm

I wanted to make a film about this filthy, noisy train and it’s packed-in passengers that would look beautiful, like the New York City paintings of John Sloan, and I wanted it to go with one of my Duke Ellington records, “Daybreak Express.”

I didn’t know much about film editing, or in fact about shooting, so I bought a couple of rolls of Kodachrome at the drugstore, and figured that since the record was about three minutes long, by shooting carefully I could fit the whole thing onto one roll of film. Of course that didn’t work since I couldn’t start and stop my hand-wound camera that easily so I ended up shooting both rolls and even a few more before I was through.  It took about three days to film, and then sat in a closet for several years until I figured out how to edit it and make a print that I could show on a projector.

I took it to the Paris theater to see if they would run it. By pure chance it ended up with the Alec Guiness comedy, THE HORSE’S MOUTH which ran there for nearly a year. Since I had a large collection of jazz records, I figured I’d found a way to break into the film business with music films, and it did get me started, but I was never able to make another film like Daybreak. (D A Pennebaker)

 

Block, Dir. Emily Richardson, UK, 2005, 11 mins, 16mm

Day through night Block is a portrait of a 1960’s London tower block, it’s interior and exterior spaces explored and revealed, patterns of activity building a rhythm and viewing experience not  dissimilar from the daily observations of the security guard sat  watching the flickering screens with their fixed viewpoints and missing  pieces of action. Block was made over a period of 10-month period in a tower block in south east London from 2004 –05. The film is a portrait of the place that came out of much time spent there.

The contrast between the exterior and interior of the building, the impersonal common spaces and the personal spaces of the interior of people’s flats gives shape to the portrait. The soundtrack was built up from recordings made on location at the time of shooting and sounds gathered from various sources and  was composed and mixed by Jonah Fox. (Emily Richardson) www.emilyrichardson.org.uk

 

La-Lu, Dir. Józef Robakowski, Poland, 1985, 2 mins, Beta SP

A swing imposes its rhythm, independent of the commentator; it forms the rhythmic score for the filmmakers’ singing. (Index DVD – The Energy Manifesto)

 

Views from Home, Dir. GuySherwin, UK, 1987-2005,10 mins, Beta SP

Views from Home was filmed in the flat in which I lived on Clarence Road, East London. I had rooms at the front and back of the house and I recorded sunlight passing through them in the course of the day, as well as across the buildings seen from the windows. Sometimes I would set the time-lapse camera running and go off to work, leaving it to record the sunlight in the empty rooms. Another room in the flat was used for rehearsal by the saxophone player Alan Wilkinson. The soundtrack comes from recordings I made while walking from room to room as he was playing. This is mixed with a variety of music from the street, reflecting the multi-ethnicity of the location - Greek music, reggae, country & western (Guy Sherwin)

 

Radar, Dir. Volker Schreiner, Germany, 2006, 5 mins 14 secs, Beta SP

Radar leads the viewer to search for extraordinary tracks. Beams of light cutting through space, edited from a large number of feature films, sporadically lighting the way to nowhere. Full of metaphors, a reflection on both the dark side of existence and the light of recognition. (Kristina Tieke) www.volkerschreiner.de

 

Pioneer, Dir. James Beckett, The Netherlands, 2003, 2 mins 46 secs, Beta SP

As the film begins a man is looking straight ahead of himself. Behind him we can see wind, water and tall chimneys with plumes of smoke, signs of heavy industry. The grainy black-and-white images emphasize the resistance in the air. But when the man starts moving, it is not as clear what has actually been started here. With great tenacity and at a brisk pace, he pushes a shovel in front of himself along an asphalt road. Without faltering or stumbling he carries on - for miles on end, very successful at his strange activity. Like Chaplin's tramp or Tati's Monsieur Hulot, the man is wearing a suit, indicating that we should not attach too much weight to his task. While he is running, the contact between metal and asphalt produces a deafening noise that intensifies as he rushes past. Gradually it starts to look as if this man is not showing us something, but is rather making us listen to something. He is playing a piece, like a needle on a record he acts as the driving force to let us hear the vibrations that are stored underground. (Netherlands Media Art Institute)

 

Counter, Dir. Volker Schreiner, Germany, 2004, 6 mins 30 secs, Beta SP

This is a work based on found footage. Schreiner extracted sequences with numbers from many movies, both classic and obscure. Using these short fragments he compiled a countdown starting from the number 266. A strong effect of suspense is created, the tight-paced montage holding the viewer's attention. (Invideo - Milan 2004) www.volkerschreiner.de

 

Roomtone #1, Dir. Mark Slankard, USA, 2003, 4 mins 33 secs, Mini DV

Utilising the cinematic device of room tone I created a portrait of the floor of the art building on which I work.  I have juxtaposed short sections of ambient sound from still video shots to create music. The piece is informed by the work of John Cage, sampling, digital recording technologies, music concrete, the indexical nature of photo and video extended to audio, and the hours I spend absorbing the variety of audible textures as I move through my day. (Mark Slankard)