Thursday, May 10, 2007

some flickers from saul levine & ken jacobs

saul levine: light lick series, 2000-2003, super 8 films.

get it while you can

get it while you can

get it while you can

get it while you can

i saw the light, praise the dark

i saw the light, praise the dark (with beautiful references to the bauhaus)

i saw the light, praise the dark

i saw the light, praise the dark

i saw the light, praise the dark

amazing grace

detour

detour

detour

detour

detour

born under a bad sign

born under a bad sign

born under a bad sign


ken jacobs celestial subway lines, nervous magic lantern 3d, 2003/2005, performance.


















saul levine's light lick series - essay by p. adams sitney on saul levine in this months art forum here:
ecstatic flicker films inspired by jazz and mystic visionary practice, light licks is a series of films begun in 2000 and made frame by frame, often by flooding the camera with enough light to spill beyond the gate into frames left unexposed. begun in 2000, the series is ongoing—by the waters of babylon in the hour of the angels is the most recently completed light lick. “i saw the light - praise the dark." - saul levine
the bauhaus photography, design and painting and esp. the chicago bauhaus creep up into many of these frames. and of course mysticism and alchemy. missing in these stills is the lovely flicker that pulses like a slow moving train.

ken jacobs's celestial subway lines: from his 2003 nervous magic lantern performance at anthology film archives nyc. a dvd* approximation was released in 2005 by tzadik.
the performance is part of his nervous system series.
described by the pfa:
jacobs's apparatus here is not the camera, but the projector. [the projection apparatus] consists of two analytical projectors (or magic lanterns) which can show the film frame by frame, or freeze it immobile on the screen....by breaking the automatic whir of twenty-four frames a second, jacobs returns cinema to its prehistory in marey and muybridge's analysis of motion....the slightly different film frames, diverted from an illusion of motion by the analytical projectors, begin to produce spatial illusions....the nervous system plays on our nervous system. jacobs not only operates his analytic projectors, he also hooks into our most primal processes of perception.

*(my only advise is to watch the jacobs dvd silent)

14 comments:

Princess Haiku said...

Hi, I found you via Flowerville and enjoyed reading your post. Will come back to read more. I never seem to have time to start blogging until too late and then one has to consider the consequences of trailing around after midnight.

kclare said...

This is a stunning post, M. And as it's too early for articulation, I'll just say I'm speechless looking at these images.

I love Levine and I've always loved the "light licks" at the beginning and end of films... do you remember who made that film that was all frames from those light leaks?

I'll have to get the Jacobs DVD, I see....

shahn said...

i think these stills work so well viewing them in a series like this. two art forms in one.

sroden said...

amazing stuff. i didn't know either. will have to scour the face of the earth for some movings. gerat great stuff!

sroden said...

p.s. in light of your comments on the sound, that's exactly how i felt with decasia. the sound destroyed teh film. i've been watching it with some of the gurdjieff piano music and it works much better... might want to try that with the jacobs :-)

the art of memory said...

thank you all for the comments.

haiku, i had not seen your blog before, very interesting items that i will look into. you must work in the dance or music world here in sf.

clare, thank you. did you see these when you and t. came? they are really nice on the big tv. but i don't remember another film like that. i tried to make one with trees and it came out real bad. looks like there is a new jacobs dvd from tzadik.

shahn, the stills are strange because they nullify the flicker, but it is so hard not to sit around watching these dvds and hitting the pause button like a maniac. alot of filmmakers are down on dvds, but i think it is great to use like an analytic projector.

steve, i hope the comments weren't to offensive, i sort of think i shouldn't have put them, but i just had such a negative reaction to the music (but i am not a zorn fan). I have watched it with some "drone" music but that is a great idea with the gurdjieff (have you gotten the new orchestral set yet?).
its funny, i don't remember the decasia music much, the images were just so strong. he just had a new film in the sffilmfestival.

thanks again.

squareamerica said...

Love the blog! Just a technical note- the Ken Jacobs DVD is a composite of several Nervous Magic Lantern shows which I'm almost positive use magic lantern projectors rather than the analytic film projectors used in the Nervous System performances. I saw one of the performances that was excerpted on the DVD and I have to say the DVD captures little of the incredible depth of field it had live. As for the music- live I felt the contrast between the almost narrative film noir-ish musique concrete score by Zorn/Mori and the utter abstraction of the projection was pretty interesting while on the DVD I just find it annoying. I'm looking forward to the release of New Fish Market 1903 DVD as the DVD transfers I've seen of the nervous system performances (Two Wrenching Departures just screened here in Chicago a few weeks ago) seem to work better than the magic lantern ones do.

the art of memory said...

thanks squareamerica, i agree that the dvd does not compare, in fact the quality of it is not great, having looked at it close on my computer.
i am really looking forward to getting the new dvd as well, and hope it is a little better, i like the musicians much more.
i will take a closer look at the dvd and see if i can phrase it better, i think you are correct about the lanterns. some of the technical aspects are a bit hard to follow for me, i remember being quite confused both performances i saw, but just deciding it was better just to look at the screen. mekas had an interesting jacobs video on his 365 that shed a little light on it.
thanks again, (my comments on the music have alot to do with my problem with zorn's vision and much of the nyc music from that time period, but i am happy that he has put these dvds out.
thanks again.)

corinne chaufour said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Niemand said...

Sublime and strange images between the moon and the retina of an eye. I like these titles which put in danger what they appoint.

Thank you for this fall in the beauty......

the art of memory said...

yes, very moonlike, strange that there would be a moon inside of a camera.
i like the title "i saw the light, praise the dark".
thank you niemand, can't wait to see more images from you.

Bob Dylan said...

this is cool,man.

eeaoa said...

This post is almost a full year old now, but I only just read it. Sorry I'm so late!
Anyway, I agree with you wholeheartedly about the Jacobs DVD and especially about the wretched (and frankly juvenile) soundtrack by Zorn & Mori. The one and only time I have witnessed Jacobs in a live setting, the audience was fortunate enough to have Rick Reed providing the music. So, I guess I was spoiled by Reed's excellent, atmospheric soundwork! Incidentally, Reed will be performing in Seattle in August and will be accompanying a newer film by Jacobs entitled Capitolism: Child Labor. Jacobs won't be present, so it won't be full Magic Lantern performance, but should be worth seeing/hearing anyway.
Just for the record, I also agree 100% with Mr. Roden's comments about the score to Decasia. The subtle, meditative, otherworldly elements of the film were virtually squashed by the sub-Glass score, which completely lacked any of the virtuous qualities listed above.

I do apologize for the overt negativity in my rant here, I was just happy to find that other folks felt the same as I did about these two DVDs.

the art of memory said...

thank the good lord we can put our own music to these films.
i heard the rick reed version is quite good, wish i could see it in seattle.
frankly, some of the lightweight "heavies" need a little more negative criticism.