(At left, still from Chris Marker's La Jetee)
Experimental films exploring the themes and inspiration for TR Ericsson’s Crackle & Drag: Film Index
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Free Admission, donations accepted
Chris Marker’s La Jetee
1962, black & white, unrated, 28 minutes, France
Chris Marker, filmmaker, poet, novelist, photographer, editor, and now videographer and digital multimedia artist, has been challenging moviegoers, philosophers, and himself for years with his complex queries about time, memory, and the rapid advancement of life on this planet. Marker’s La Jetée is one of the most influential, radical science-fiction films ever made, a tale of time travel told in still images.
-From The Criterion Collection
Hollis Frampton's Nostalgia
1971, black & white, unrated, 36 minutes, USA
To speak of Frampton’s films as merely structural riddles or philosophical proposals, however, fails to take into account their pleasurable and poetic nature. The gamelike qualities of his films prove playful rather than didactic and always retain a residue of enigma. And he is more of a storyteller than the structural label would suggest. His films are told with an erudite wit, an often stark beauty, and deep emotional resonance. This last quality is one that sets him apart from many of his “structural” fellow travelers and is most apparent in his only completed film cycle,Hapax Legomena (1971–72), a seven-part sequence including three of his best-known works,(nostalgia), Poetic Justice (1972), and Critical Mass (1971). Throughout the cycle, Frampton continually reveals intricate relationships between time and memory, word and image. He called the project “an oblique autobiography, seen in stereoscopic focus with the phylogeny of film art as I have tried to recapitulate it during my own fitful development as a filmmaker.” This aspect is most explicit in (nostalgia) but is also evident, in a more buried way, in Critical Mass, which creates hypnotic rhythms from footage of a woman and a man engaged in a heated argument—completed when Frampton was working through the tumultuous end of a six-year marriage.
-From The Criterion Collection
Bruce Baillie's Mass for the Dakota Sioux
1964, black & white. unrated, 24 minutes, USA
A film Mass, dedicated to nobility and excellence.
The film begins with a short introduction - "No chance for me to live, Mother, you might as well mourn." Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa Sioux Chief. Applause for a lone figure dying on the street.
INTROIT. A long, lightly exposed section composed in the camera. KYRIE. A motorcyclist crossing the San Francisco Bridge accompanied by the sound of Gregorian chant, recorded at the Trappist Monastery in Vina, California. The sounds of the "mass" rise and fall throughout. GLORIA. The sound of a siren and a short sequence of a '33 Cadillac proceeding over the Bay Bridge and disappearing into a tunnel. The final section of the Communion begins with the OFFERTORY in a procession of lights and figures to the second chant. The anonymous figure from the introduction is discovered again, dead on the pavement. The body is consecrated and taken away past an indifferent, isolated people, accompanied by the final chant. The Mass is traditionally a celebration of Life; thus the contradiction between the form of the Mass and the theme of Death. The dedication is to the religious people who were destroyed by the civilization which evolved the Mass.