James Cagle

Matrix (1973) 16mm, black and white, 7.5 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Cameraless

MATRIX is a flicker film which utilizes 81 still photographs of my wife's head. It is a film dependent upon variation of intense light changes by calculated combinations of black and white frame alternations with exposure changes. Throughout, the light intensity rises and falls as the head rotates in varying directions within a 360 degree frontal area. "An interesting, and surprising less hypnotic than WATERWORK, "flicker" film, most strongly reminiscent of the work of Paul Sharits, in its use of the still photograph as basic image-material. The singular shot/image is of a woman, expressionless, white face/black dress, head and shoulders, looking into camera (still photograph). Variations: woman seen with head turned down at various angles, left and right; with head and neck at various angles up and down. These photographs "animated" in one section, by rapid cutting, to parody spatial "articulation" as used in movie-convention, by means of the off-screen "look." Time-composition via interruptive flash-frames of white (mostly) and black frames, in various rhythmic patterns, coupled with overexposure -- working for me as time-composition in some moments, not in others. The overall time-form not found, but an energetic search, which I do hope will continue, and continue." -- John Schofill

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00

James Cagle

Waterwork (1973) 16mm, color, 11 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Environment & Nature, Films about Film, Media, Structural

WATERWORK was designed to show that the motion picture is ideally suited to depicting a view of nature, unaltered by special effects cinematography, that is not readily perceivable to the human eye. The film states in a simple way that in addition to camera manipulation (in this case moving the zoom lens) our view of natural forms can be altered by direct observation and by observation over a relatively long period of time. It also points out that while our perception changes, our concept of being located in a normal way in time and space is also affected to the extent we are no longer sure what constitutes up, down and sideways. Nor are we aware precisely where we are with regard to distance. "I was very impressed with WATERWORK. Conceptually and formally, its inventions mark it as an important work in the Structuralist tradition and one, had it been made in New York by a better-known film artist, which would have gained much critical attention. WATERWORK joins that tradition of monomorphic structuralist visions (c. f. WAVELENGTH, SERENE VELOCITY) based on the continuous zoom as a means of transforming outer appearances into inner experience. It's a gem of a film, one which lingers in the mind like the echo of a memory." -- Standish Lawder "A single shot (slow zoom) gradually magnifying rapidly-moving blue/white water pattern (rushing river). A sensitive and subtle film for visual contemplation, which inevitably reminds one both of how seldom we see ordinary 'simple' reality; but moreover, how wonderfully transformative is the medium of cinema, to render this reality in a new, optically dazzling, pattern. A hypnotic experience, for the cinema/willing, to drown within -- and therein the danger: an art must keep the recipient alive and awake." -- John Schofill.

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00

James Cagle

Excavation (1974) 16mm, color, 5 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Philosophical, Structural

... is one of the more demanding and time-consuming films I have worked on. In spite of its short length, the shooting and editing have occupied as much time as I have spent on films three times longer. This is due to a number of reasons. The film first of all is extremely meticulous. It has been exposed one frame at a time and in most instances each frame has required a separate picture, a change in focus, a different focal length or exposure change. It is a composite of still photographs, both black and white and color, shot over the past three years and live footage shot more recently. In addition, it makes use of a collage I designed 5 inches by 8 feet and animated horizontally. EXCAVATION makes use of in-camera A and B roll editing. One frame is exposed, the following black out, another exposed and so on and so forth. I originally planned the film to be edited totally in the camera, but once into it, I began to realize I was playing a very complicated game of chess and decided that much post-camera editing would be necessary. It was next to impossible to realize beforehand the multiplicity of effects that would develop. EXCAVATION is evocative at numerous levels. It is about the past and the present. It is a primordial/contemporary synthesis of images and sensitivities. I recall as a student at the Art Institute of Chicago viewing Willem de Koonings' 'Excavation' almost daily for three years and being terribly impressed by it. To that extent I think my film is abstract expressionist. At a personal level the film deals in an archaeological way with the exploitation of techniques and ideas that have accumulated over the past five years but have been without expression for one reason or another. It attempts to synthesize then numerous thought fragments in a brief, coherent and dynamic way.

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00

James Cagle

Metonic Cycles (1974) 16mm, color, 11.5 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Philosophical, Structural

... is the most esoteric film I have made. It moves in a calculated, almost mathematical way. It is without any kind of special effect. With the exception of a type of rhythm that is established, its evocation is dependent upon the content of each image and how the images relate to each other relative to their position in time and space. The film is divided into five distinct sections. The first, third and fifth are all 100 foot takes, while the second and fourth are made up of numerous images which belong to more of a general content. The observer, because he/she is viewing the film within a concise period of time, is forced to relate disparate images. In this respect, the content is somewhat surrealistic although I believe its primary effect is one of extra-objectivity. A Metonic cycle is a period of roughly 19 years, at the end of which the phases of the moon recur in the same order and on the same days as in the preceding cycle. It was discovered by Meton, an Athenian astronomer of the fifth century B. C. I am particularly intrigued by this type of measurement and also by the fact that the system was devised so long ago. While there is no over connection between this and the film, the elements of mystery, history and the passing of time implicit in my view of Meton, his position in time and his discovery constitute my primary motivations for making the film. METONIC CYCLES raises many types of questions. They are questions which deal with philosophy and perception. While the questions are not answered, the observer, if on the proper wavelength, can develop an ambivalence, that is, a feeling that is a mixture of comprehension and lack-of-comprehension. The resulting point-of-view can be one of acceptance, e. g., that while the images have an unreal appearance, this is the way things really are.

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00

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