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Variety

Ian Breakwell
2001
Video

Variety

Variety is a tribute to the theatre of vaudeville, burlesque, cabaret, pantomine, circus, fairgrounds, stage magic and illusion.

Inspired by research in the BFi National Film and Television Archive, Variety samples fragments of obscure footage from the early days of cinema and television, including badly damaged nitrate stock. Breakwell then employs sophisticated re-editing, with digital effects, evocative sound and music, to create an audio-visual montage filled with humour, pathos and sensuality. Structured in 12 self-contained 'acts' in the manner of a variety theatre bill, Variety makes the viewer poignantly aware of the fragile temporality of both live performance and the film medium itself.

Variety was the result of a three month Year of The Artist residency working with the National Film and Television Archive at the British Film Institute.

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