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This Surface

David Hall
1972/3
11 mins Colour 16mm
with Tony Sinden

This Surface

'The film utilises a traditionally seductive theatrical image at the outset which is subsequently redefined in the concrete terms of projection and screen.

..Initially a man is seen dancing in a pub with a pint of beer on his head. This is followed by a series of travelling shots along a seafront. The imagery and illusion of spatial depth are subsequently challenged by superimposed texts.. Essentially, a rearrangement of priorities...' DH, 1977.

'..Thus Hall poses the problem of the film plane. If all this is a matter of light falling on a surface in such a way as to look like objects, space and time passing, then by putting an image over that image, particularly an image of linguistic signs which do not share that same space and time, then what is posed is the problem of representation itself. At the same time the very materiality and illusionism of the medium is thrown into relief. There is much here that reminds us of painterly problems in modernist art where the tension between picture plane and representational perspective is explored. By using film, Hall understands, however, the difference between painting and time-based visual art; in this case, film.'
Michael O'Pray, 'David Hall', Variant magazine, April, 1992.

'This Surface stands out, after one viewing, as a superior piece of ironic structural cinema, in the self-referential style..'
Jonas Mekas, Village Voice, Oct 18, 1973.

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