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Nick WadleyClick here to Print this Page
Anne Rees Mogg
Building a house of cards is a motif that appears more than once in Anne Rees-Mogg's films.

The cards are photographs of heads. Faces of family. Her films use all manner of repetition and juxtaposition to make us aware of continuities of time and of family which outlive the collapse of the house of cards.

It was relatively late in her life that she discovered the camera and film-making, and in a sense all of her films were part of a continuing experimental workshop, of techniques transparently learned, invented and shared. They reflect her inquisitive, amused mind and particularly her curiosity about time and concepts of timelessness.

The pervasive strain of memory throughout her work contrives to outwit time through the act of documentation - as if the process of recording and re-enacting of people and places, changing and unchanging, rescues their passing from any sense of loss or regret. Apart from occasional, autograph celebrations of the ridiculous, the style and mood of the films are unemotional. The title of her first substantial film, Real Time (1974), is a pun on this duality, and we are constantly reminded of reel-time. In the opening sequence, a rare bit of synch-sound, she asks on camera, "Is real time film time?" and concludes, stretching the pun into new fields, "perhaps real time is the time of our lives?"

The subject of her films is both film-making and autobiography. These are not natural bedfellows, but between them touch on some prevalent concerns of progressive film-making of the 60s and 70s: film-as-film; the hand-held camera and home-movie aesthetics; the film as a personal journal. She was in touch with underground movies, as they were known then, on both sides of the Atlantic, and a friend of some of the leading protagonists. She would invite them to talk about their work at Chelsea Art School. So any slightest temptation, implicit or from anywhere else, to see her work as essentially a na ïve activity is misguided.

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