Tom Tom the Piper's Son

Root Event

2. Werkleitz Biennale 1996 Cluster Images

Parent Event

Tom Tom the Piper's Son
US 1969

Cinematography assistant Jordan Meyers. Orginal 1905 film shot and probably directed by G. W.“Billy” Bitzer, rescued via a paper print filed for copyright purposes with the Library of Congress. It is most reverently examined here, absolutely loved, with a new movie, almost as a side effect, coming into being. “Ghosts” Cine Recordings of the vivacious doings of persons long dead. The preservation of their memory ceases at the edges at the frame (a 1905 hand happened to stick into the frame… it’s preserved, recorded in a spray of emulsion gains). One face passes “behind” another on the two dimensional screen. The staging and cutting is pre-Griffith. Seven infinitely complex cine tapestries comprise the orginal film, and the style is not primitive, not uncinematic but the cleanest, inspired indication of a path of cinematic development whose value has only recently been discovered. My camera closes in, only to better ascertain the infinite richness (playing with fate, taking advantage of the loop character of all movies, recalling with variations some visual complexes again and again for particular savouring out incongruities in the story-telling (a person, confused suddenly looks out of an actors face), delighting in the whole bizarre human phenomena of story-telling itself and this within the fantasy of reading any bygone time out of the visual crudities of film: dream within a dream! And then I wanted to shoe the actual present of film, just begin to indicate its energy. I wanted to “bring to the surface” that multi-rhythmic collision-contesting of dark and light two-dimensional force-areas struggling edge to edge for identity of shape…to get into the amoebic gain pattern itself- a chemical dispersin pattern unique to each frame,…stirred to life by a successive 16-24 pattering on our retinas, the teaming energies elicited (the grains! the grains!) then collaborating, unknowingly and ironically to form the akways-poignant-because-always-past illusion.

(London Film Makers Coop)

16mm, 120 min

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