Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rose Lowder at Anthology

Fields of wildflowers in single frame, now revealing the patterns of flux in the wind hidden from our perception in real time, with movements appearing like the iron filings under the influence of a magnet.  One of the many experiences seeing the films of Rose Lower at Anthology.

The organizer of Rose Lowder's US screenings, Tara Nelson, has also created the Rose Lowder blog supplementing the events, with film stills and photographs of the filmmaker at the various screenings.  The frame enlargements are especially interesting after having seen the films in that clusters of frames are reproduced, rather than a single still image.  It's a little difficult to get a sense of what the effect of these alternating images is like without seeing the film; the real revelation comes in having seen the film and going back and seeing the underlying still frames.  What seemed to be superimposition on the screen is not superimposition at all, but a succession frames that blend together with each other through the rapid alternations of image.  Superimposition created in eye and mind.

Rose mentioned, in answer to a question about technique, that she had been fascinated by Robert Breer's film Eyewash.  How was it that images that were each only a single frame were either seen or obscured?  She spent three years reading everything she could on the nature of perception before ever making a film of her own.

How many filmmakers consider the question:  "How it is that we see what we are looking at?" rather than just think about their films as "images" and take the perception of the images for granted?


The film tour blog is a very useful supplement to the screenings, and even to the Q&A with the filmmaker.  This usefulness is borne out by the example of a discussion during the Q&A of the method behind some of the films.  Rose described her graph-paper notetaking system for charting out what she was shooting.  It seemed a pity not to be able to see what this looked like, but then it turns out that we can, thanks to the blog.  An effective addition to the screening itself.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your comments and support, Joel! Your pictures are great. Rose really enjoyed the screening and the Q&A at Anthology. It was great to meet so many enthusiastic fans of her work.