Monday, 21 June 2010


With the advent of cinema, many artists have used this new medium not for theatre, but to attempt to record the human thought process realistically. Surrealism and the avant-garde brought with them editing styles which seem to echo the stream of consciousness. The lettrist movement of the forties and fifties aimed to reduce literature and cinema to its formal fragments, removing any nuance of semantics or grammar. The films produced from this movement still present a heady challenge even today, and Marc’O’s Closed Vision is no exception. A narrator guides the viewer through the film’s intentions as a vibrant array of images is presented. Various photocollages evoke the contorted faces of human emotion, intercut with surreal imagery reminiscent of Buñuel and Cocteau, both of whom endorsed the film.

Apart from the patronising disclaimer at the start of the film which acknowledges the need for an explanation for ‘lay audiences’, Marc’O does a good job of drawing the viewer in, the curiosity of his new film language being a reason to watch rather than switch off. Unlike his lettrist colleagues, Marc’O revels in the possibilities of both image and sound, engendering a sense of discord as the mind tries to follow the two independent strands. The narration plays with the phonetic complexities of language, sounds being stressed and repeated at random, and brings to mind a Beat poetry session. Closed Vision is a little too theatrical to fully follow through with its mission statement, but merits commemoration in experimental film history.

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