Bodies and graphics / Graphic Choreas

— session #3 Free Radicals

Wednesday at Galeria Zé dos Bois (Rua da Barroca, 59)
Friday at ZDB 8 Marvila (Praça David Leandro da Silva, 2)

Begone Dull Care, 1949, Norman McLaren
Opus, 1921, Walter Ruttman
Demoni, 2012, Theodore Ushec
Rainbow Dance, 1936, Len Lye
Reasons to be glad, 1980, Jeff Scher

Session #3 of the film cycle Free Radicals: dance experiences in experimental cinema programmed by Bárbara Janicas.

All the sessions of the cycle take place on Wednesdays at 7pm at ZDB and are repeated on Fridays of the same week at 10pm at ZDB 8 Marvila.

Lichtspiel Opus I
Walter Ruttmann, 1921
Digital, color, sound, 10min

“This technique of animated painting gives the forms a floating and irregular appearance, a texture modelled by touches of light and shadow, a fluidity of movement combined with a certain density. (…) Opus I is structured on the basis of antagonisms between pointed and sinuous forms that dispute the centre of the screen in jerky or undulating and swirling movements, in a progression that goes from the presentation of motifs to a climate of struggle between forms and, finally, a stasis.”
– Dominique Willoughby

Pat O’Neill, 196
16mm, color, sound (optic), 10min

“Actually, I was trying to achieve something graphic, two-dimensional, rather than an illusion. The solarisation, the bi-pack printing (positive/negative) and all the other things I was doing to ‘flatten’ the image were simply a way of merging all the fragments and mechanical elements into something unified. Thinking about it, I feel that, in a way, the film is really about energy, imponderable force, all those things that make up life.”
– Pat O’Neill

Rainbow dance
Len Lye, 1936
16mm, color, sound (optic), 5min

“A rainbow appears behind a man in a rainy street, transforming him into a colourful silhouette, and his city clothes into hiker’s clothes. Launching into a series of summer activities, he dances through a fantasy of colours… (…) In Rainbow dance, colour is used in a ‘spatial’ way, i.e. it moves closer to or further away from the eye, disappears and reappears according to precise chromatic rhythms…”
– Len Lye

Reasons to be glad
Jeff Scher, 1980
16mm, color, sound, 4min

“I made this film experimenting with a homemade rotoscope. It was all drawn on cards. It’s a kind of postcard for Valentine’s Day, dedicated to cinema, to life and also to Xavier Cugat.”– Jeff Scher

Begone Dull Care
Norman McLaren & Evelyn Lambert, 1949
Digital, color, sound, 7min50

“The Oscar Peterson trio performs a series of pieces from their repertoire, and Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart translate these sounds, guided only by their talent and free imagination.”
– Office national du film du Canada

Theodore Ushev, 2012
Digital, color, sound, 3min30

“A story about a house, a chimney and a red cat. The animation was created using 50 vinyl records, painting directly onto the plates with oil paint markers, gel and acrylics. Different speeds of the ‘Viking’ gramophone were used to create the movement.”
– Theodore Ushev

Dancing in the grain
Dominique Willoughby, 2023
Digital, color, sound, 5min

“A serpentine dance, a striptease, strobe discs, jellyfish, inflatable cacti and other dancing fragments are traversed by the transits of the film grain in turbulent masses. Sinking in the grain, the brain, the drain.”
– Dominique Willoughby

Noé Balthazard, 2023
Digital, color, sound, 5min40

“Using today’s tools (AI, interactive coding), this film proposes updating the serpentine dance as a protocol for artistic creation. Admired by both Mallarmé and Rodin, Loïe Fuller never wanted to be filmed: it is through imitations of her serpentine dance by others, anonymous and multiple, that we now have these moving images, which have inspired the artistic avant-garde to this day. At a time when the massive use of algorithms allows machines to learn to create, undermining traditional authorial positions, this film is also a manifesto for a cyborg cinema, for a collective and generative sensibility.”
– Noé Balthazard

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