Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Guy Sherwin

Sound Cuts

“Black film stock is repeatedly cut and rejoined.  The cuts are made with the angled blade of a splicer normally used for joining sound film.  At each cut we see an angled flash of light followed by a thud of sound.  The film combines rhythmic intervals from one cut per second to twenty-four cuts per second, spread across 6 projectors”.

Guy is a favourite of KYTN, and we’ve shown many of his films. Along with Malcolm Le Grice, he is another of the UK’s great experimental filmmakers.  Over the years he’s made dozens of films, of which his ‘optical sound films’ that KYTN are interested in are only part.  Through all of them he’s extended a line of enquiry distinguished by his central concern with time and light as the fundamentals of cinema.

Here's how Guy explains Sound Cuts, “Black film stock is repeatedly cut and rejoined.  The cuts are made with the angled blade of a splicer normally used for joining sound film.  At each cut we see an angled flash of light followed by a thud of sound.  The film combines rhythmic intervals from one cut per second to twenty-four cuts per second, spread across 6 projectors”.

 

Here’s a good quote from Guy again, which partly explains why we’re interested in his films.  “What links … the films is the physical correspondence between sound and image.  In many of the films, sounds are produced directly by the images that we are seeing.  The idea of ‘optical sound’ may seem like a contradiction, but in the analogue medium of cine-film, perhaps surprisingly, sound and image are both carried in visual form on the same filmstrip.” Of course, this could all be very interesting but dull, if it were not for the fact that Guy takes this ‘accident of technology’ as he puts it, and uses it to create beguiling, physical and often intense sensory experiences.  With Sound Cuts, the experience is something like an examination of the temporal space in your brain, of how the mind tries to reconcile image and sound that are clearly joined, but separated by a fraction of a second. 

  • Audio

  • Sound Cuts

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0