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Two frames from a 16mm film with blocks of red, green, pink and yellow

About Face

About Face

This programme takes human subjects as the focus for sound and image construction. And it includes a couple of masterpieces of experimental film: Paul Sharits’ deeply empathetic interpretation of epilepsy and Peter Kubelka’s Webern inspired abstract portrait of Arnulf Rainer.

The programme brings together some pretty disparate films that each, in their own way, address the human figure while also saying something interesting about sound-image.

Including Peter Kubelka’s supreme abstraction of portraiture, Arnulf Rainer; its structured edits of black and white frames inspired by the serialist compositional techniques of the composer Anton Webern, but also maybe the serial organisation and grid structure of Muybridge’s proto-cinema. A kind of abstract, musically inspired, portrait and motion study.


Epileptic Seizure Comparison: A deeply empathetic interpretation of epilepsy, far beyond anything as crass as voyeurism, Sharits’ film puts the structural developments of experimental cinema to surely their most compassionate end; interpreting the brainwaves, groans and convulsions of two epilepsy sufferers in direct and allegorical cinematic terms, in an attempt to help us all understand their emotional and physical state. A bold, moving and astonishingly emotional work of art. “Beauty shall be convulsive” — Andre Breton

Arnulf Rainer, Dir. Peter Kubelka, 7 mins, 16mm

YYAA, Dir. Wojciech Bruszewski, 5 mins, 16mm

Acoustic Apple (Jabłko akustyczne), Dir. Josef Robakowski, 4 mins, Beta

Charlemagne 2: Piltzer, Dir. Pip Chodorov, 22 mins, 16mm

Epileptic Seizure Comparison, Dir. Paul Sharits, 30mins, 16mm

Below are online links which you can use for reference. To see the films in their original glory, check with the distributor of the film for their terms and conditions.


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