Cineinfinito #1: Peter Tscherkassky

CINEINFINITO / Cine Club Filmoteca de Cantabria
Sábado 24 de abril de 2016, 16:30h, Filmoteca de Cantabria
Calle Bonifaz, 6
39003 Santander






























Programa:

Outer Space (1999) 35mm
Dream Work (2002) 35mm
Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine (2005) 35mm
Coming Attractions (2010) 35mm


Outer Space (1999)

















Outer Space (1999)

Suggesting a convulsive hall of mirrors, Peter Tscherkassky's widescreen tour de force
Outer Space reinvents a 1981 Barbara Hershey horror vehicle, leaving the original's
crystalline surface intact only to violently shatter its narrative illusion. After Hershey
enters a house at nighttime, sounds of crickets, static, and distorted music give way to
explosions, screams, and garbled voices. In an eruption of panicked subjectivity, the
actress's face multiplies across the screen as the frame is invaded by sprocket holes, an
optical soundtrack, and flashes of solarized imagery. 

(Kristin M. Jones, Closing the American Century: The Avant-Garde in '99, in: Film
Comment Jan./Feb. 2000)


Dream Work (2002)















Dream Work (2002)

A woman goes to bed, falls asleep, and begins to dream. This dream takes her to a
landscape of light and shadow, evoked in a form only possible through classic
cinematography. 

"Dream Work" is – after "L’Arrivée" und "Outer Space" – the third section of my
CinemaScope Trilogy. The formal element binding the trilogy is the specific technique of 
contact printing, by which found film footage is copied by hand and frame by frame onto
unexposed film stock. Through this, I am able, in a literal sense, to realize the central
mechanism by which dreams produce meaning, the "dream work," as Sigmund Freud
described it: displacement [Verschiebung] and condensation [Verdichtung]. The new
interpertation of the text of the original source material takes place through its
"displacement" from its original context and its concurrent "condensation" by means of 
multiple exposure. 

Moreover "Dream Work" positions itself as an hommage to Man Ray, who, in 1923 with
his famous rayographs in "La retour á la raison" was the first artist to use this technique
for filmmaking, exposing the image by shining light through physical objects onto the film
stock. [PT]


Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine (2005)

















Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine (2005) 

The hero of Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine is easy to identify. Walking down
the street unknowingly, he suddenly realizes that he is not only subject to the gruesome
moods of several spectators but also at the mercy of the filmmaker. He defends himself 
heroically, but is condemned to the gallows, where he dies a filmic death through a tearing
of the film itself. Our hero then descends into Hades, the realm of shades. Here, in the
underground of cinematography, he encounters innumerable printing instructions, the
means whereby the existence of every filmic image is made possible. In other words, our
hero encounters the conditions of his own possibility, the conditions of his very existence as
a filmic shade. Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine is an attempt to transform a
Roman Western into a Greek tragedy. [PT]


Coming Attractions (2010)


























Coming Attractions (2010)

Coming Attractions and the construction of its images are woven around the idea that
there is a deep, underlying relationship between early cinema and avant-garde film. Tom
Gunning was among the first to describe and investigate this notion in a systematic and
methodical manner in his well known and often quoted essay: `An Unseen Energy
Swallows Space: The Space in Early Film and Its Relation to American Avant-Garde Filmí
(in: John L. Fell [ed.], Film Before Griffith, Berkeley 1983). Coming Attractions
additionally addresses Gunning's concept of a `Cinema of Attractionsí. This term is used to
describe a completely different relation between actor, camera and audience to be found in
early cinema in general, as compared to the `modern cinemaí which developed after 1910,
gradually leading to the narrative technique of D.W.Griffith. The notion of a `Cinema of
Attractionsí touches upon the exhibitionistic character of early film, the undaunted show
and tell of its creative possibilities, and its direct addressing of the audience. At some point
it occured to me that another residue of the cinema of attractions lies within the genre of
advertising: Here we also often encounter a uniquely direct relation between actor,
camera and audience. 
The impetus for Coming Attractions was to bring the three together: commercials, early
cinema, and avant-garde film. [PT]