THE EYE and THE EAR
Five amazing explorations into the relationship between sound and image . Each of these pieces pushes the aesthetic and technical boundaries of its age. From Ruttmann’s radio cinema of the 1930s to Fowler’s recent acousmatic experiments, this months programme covers 80 years of intensive enquiry …. good vibrations. gp
Weekend Walter Ruttmann (DE/1930/optical sound to CD/11mins)
“Everything audible in the world becomes material”(Ruttmann 1929)
In a collage of words, music fragments and sounds, the film-maker and artist Walter Ruttmann created a radically innovative piece: an acoustic picture of a Berlin weekend urban landscape. Recorded as arbitrary and intentional elements on the soundtrack of an optical sound film, this is pure audio cinema.
The Eye And The Ear Franciszka+Stefan Themerson (UK / 1945/35mm/10mins)
A quest for a purely filmic language, The Eye and the Ear reflects a desire to produce a visual equivalent to music. Through a variety of means the Themersons create visual interpretations of four songs from Karol Szymanowski’s Słopiewnie. They treat the film medium as a tool for the analysis of musical structure.
YYAA Wojciech Bruszewski ( POL / 1973 / 16mm / 5mins )
The author is filmed screaming : Four sources of light are switched at random. Each of the four lights has its equivalent in a different modulation of the author’s voice. The film technique provides the author with a five-minute long primal scream. A repeated change of the shot from a close-up to a semi close-up and vice versa is motiveless.
Not Still Billy Roisz ( AUS / 2008 / video / 10mins)
The source for the pictures and sounds in Not Still is a vinyl record. Initially, a sample dominates: the scratching of a record player needle in an endless loop. While the viewer remains stuck in the hypnotic electronic soundtrack, Roisz shifts massively enlarged photos of spinning record grooves from the dark into the picture. An abstract visual landscape in shades of muted colours, in which found footage on celluloid flares up like a quotation from the nether world.
A Grammar For Listening, part 2 Luke Fowler (UK / 2009 / 16mm / 21mins)
Fowler’s film cycle attempts to question how to create a meaningful dialogue between looking and listening. Part 2 (of 3) was made in collaboration with Parisian-based composer Eric La Casa; filmed elements include movements of the wind on a lake in beautiful landscapes, starkly contrasted with scenes from warehouses, motorways and traffic. We expect to hear sounds that are in accordance with the pictures that are being shown to us. When we discover this is not the case, we suddenly find ourselves paying attention to different elements in new ways.