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1919 (A Russian Funeral)

Malcolm Le Grice
1971
10mins Colour 16mm
Two or three Screen

1919 (A Russian Funeral)

Double projection film which explores the transformation of a piece of Russian newsreel film from 1919.

Interested in the transformation of the meaning, through the manipulative reality of each stage in the history of the material. Original situation of a slow funeral march, shot with a hand cranked camera in bits, compressing the whole duration.

The camera man, moving from position to position ..35mm..black and white..possibly edited at the time. Real pragmatic interaction with flux of events. (mourners wear WHITE TOP HATS AND TAILS, look like negative in the positive film, and pos in the negative..Marxism as negative of Capitalism, through the symbol of the top hat, etc..), Russian Cultural Service (CIA?KGB? etc..) re-edited..copied onto 16mm stretched to 24 fps, ..copied by me on an old wartime projector made into a crude pirinter..make 6 or 7 copies, re-edit material, loose [sic] that version somewhere..give copies away..wait..then use existing length, with academy leader and tail run out as arbitary basic duration.

..Make single screen version with strict but arbitary form, transforming through colour printing. Simultaneously make sequences refilmed from the screen with colour filters, in and out of focus, and at different angles...make second screen to incorporate this, and other sections from first version..still stick to strict seven sections of exactly equal length (the length of the original film). Structure of first screen, sequential layout of structure of its making, second screen indication how this latest, 'reality' of the material is also subject to change, development, and new transformations, some out of my control, becoming more so.

M.L.G. 1972.

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