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Yann BeauvaisClick here to Print this Page
Like A Song.

So in Mourning Garden Blackbird the double screen placed one above the other, shows the frequent alternation of opposing times of day, with shots of trees in blossom appearing on the upper screen whilst the lower screen shows us different views of the same garden in the evening; or in winter or another time of year (see Autumn Rush). The vertical juxtaposition of two screens is reminiscent of the shape of a window opening out onto a garden, but it also evokes the shape of a painting. This is quite distinct from the multiple horizontals which the film-maker uses in Broken Pieces for the Co-operative (2000), or Train Pieces (2001) which operate on a system of de-phasing, of disjuncture and conjunction, so as to constitute momentarily, an apparently unique image.

In Mourning Garden Blackbird the double presentation never produces one single image. The image ceaselessly defies the oneness of the single screen in favour of an instability constructed through the interlacing of successive components which the sound of birds, or of traffic, or cries in the distance, prevent from crumbling. The passing image is denied its sole description through the intensity of the sound.

This capacity to allow fresh associations to surface; other scenes starting from a handful of shots, or voices, seems to derive from an art of collage which doesn't give precedence to the material relationship between things according to criteria of resemblance or analogy, but instead, favours their juxtaposition following principles which spring from collision or collusion, closer, in this sense that is, to the "exquisite corpse". These associations function like bridges spanning the two distinct strands of Cinema. It is in this sense that the play on language which haunts Anna Thew's cinema, must be understood. Language inhabits her films as does the event of painting, but if painting is re-discovered in visual effects which appear in relation to the superimpositions of layers of diverse elements (see LFMC Demolition 2004, Broken Pieces for the Co-operative 2000), it is also found in the mise en scène of sequences in the more narrative films, in the sense of theatre where even here, this is played out according to Brechtian principles, such as in Hilda was a Goodlooker (1986), Eros Erosion (1990) and Cling Film (1993).

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