Media Arts Program

Sunday, March 19, 2006

George Landow


Presented at:

Programme Two
All films 16mm
• The Film that Rises to the Surface of Clarified Butter (1968, 9 min.)
An illustrator is drawing figures that resemble Tibetan deities. He can’t believe his eyes when they appear to come to life and dance on the paper, taking on qualities we might associate with Disney characters. They appear trapped between 2D and 3D space, an eerie limbo which is amplified by the sinister loop of the soundtrack.
• Diploteratology (1967-78, silent, 7 min.)
A revision of BARDO FOLLIES, subtitled “the study newly formed monstrosities”. Its images represent visual phenomena seen during a passage into the afterlife, but also evoke the cellular structure of the filmstrip, and of our own bodies. “The suggestion is that death (destruction of the original image) is not an end but merely the next stage.”
• “No Sir, Orison!” (1975, 3 min.)
After singing a vivacious song of love in the aisle of a supermarket, the performer kneels down to ask forgiveness for those involved in the commercial food industry, which substitutes natural produce with non-nutritious commodities. Orison means prayer. The title of the film (a palindrome) is the answer to a question.
• Wide Angle Saxon (1975, 22 min.)
An interpretation of The Confessions of Saint Augustine, featuring an ordinary middle-aged man who undergoes a conversion experience whilst watching an experimental film. The film is by Al Rutcurts (think about it) and Earl is so bored that his mind starts to wander. He realises that his possessions may be a barrier between himself and God and determines to something about it.
• Thank You Jesus for the Eternal Present (1973, 6 min.)
A rapturous audio-visual mix that “deliberately seeks a hidden order in randomness.” The film combines the face of a woman in ecstatic, contemplative prayer with shots of an animal rights activist, and a scantily clad model advertising Russian cars at the International Auto Show, New York.
• A Film of Their 1973 Spring Tour Commissioned by Christian World Liberation Front of Berkeley, California (1974, 12 min.)
A radical Christian group’s lecture tour of US colleges was filmed in the cinema verité tradition, with hand held camera, sync and wild sound. To avoid making a conventional documentary, the filmmaker created a dynamic collage by stroboscopically editing together pairs of scenes using a rapid rhythm of three-frame units.
• New Improved Institutional Quality: In the Environment of Liquids and Nasals a Parasitic Vowel Sometimes Develops (1976, 10 min.) The IQ test soundtrack is re-used in an entirely new work that is concerned more with the effects on the examinee, who enters a Chinese box of impossible perspectives in a hyper-realistic living room. He briefly escapes the oppressive environment of the test but passes into the imagination of the filmmaker, where he encounters images from previous films.

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March, 2006 - 2006