The Flickers

Managed to catch one of the four programmes of short experimental work at EIFF. My head is too deliriously messed-up from flicker and strobe to offer coherent summations of all the films, but –

LANDFILL 16 (Jennifer Reeves, above) consists of 16mm fragments buried, dug up, painted over and played at different speeds. I met the filmmaker one time in New York and she seemed like the nicest person alive. The movie is a little like a series of beautiful abstract paintings, any one of which I would be delighted to frame on my wall, and they flash by so rapidly you sometimes wish you had a picture-framer handy to arrest them. The images sometimes look like decay (and I kept getting scary subliminal flashes of skulls which I don’t think were actually there) and sometimes like crystals under an electron microscope and sometimes a recognizable figure will pop up for half a second. Gloriously beautiful and so condensed you almost resent having to use your eyes for an hour afterrwards.

TRICOLOR by Martina Heyduk did not have quite as lovely a sound-image conjunction — the sounds, though abstract, tended to illustrate the abstract images a little too closely. But the melting smoke shapes onscreen, and the cacophonous soundscape — like the birth pangs of a haunted dredge — were both lovely in their own right.

Kerry Laitala’s CHROMATIC COCKTAIL 180 PROOF showed in 3D. The bubbly dayglo images and bleepy beats added a nice sacriligous feeling, since experimental film shows often feel like going to church.

Vicky Smith’s SOBBINGSPITTINGSCRATCHING alas could not be shown, for fear that it would cause the Filmhouse’s ancient 16mm projector to break down in sympathy.

I’m sorry I can’t say something about all the films shown, they were all terrific. Afterwards, my temporal lobes were pulsating like Dick Smith bladder effects.

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