Henry Hills

Mechanics of the Brain (1997) 16mm, color, 20 min

Keywords: Dance

The film stars dancers Sean Curran, Kate Gyllenhaal, Phillip Karg, Alejandra Martorell, Sally Silvers, and Laura Staton, with narration by Fiona Templeton (reading selected sentences from The Oxford Companion to the Mind). The original music score by John Zorn is available on CD as Filmworks VI 1996 (Tzadek 7308). "Interesting to see how Henry's accommodation in terms of longer duration of shots meshed with the fragmentation of [Sally's] phrases to produce an analog for neuron firing and assorted inexplicable meta-techno-behaviourist follies while sending up the smug labors of the laboratory. I thought it was beautifully realized, very funny and scary, a sort of souped-up pataphysical exercise for the millennium crossed with Hollywood horror genre. Pavlov's dog was heart-rending and the soundtrack was fabulous." -- Yvonne Rainer On one level I conceived of our film as a "remake" of the Pudovkin's 1926 documentary (of the same name) on Pavlov's experiments -- in the postmodern Hollywood sense (like the remakes of famous noirs and TV shows where a knowledge of the original is presumed and thus the "story" is just a vehicle for making a statement on the current state of movie perception). Our MECHANICS is a dance film in the guise of science documentary, an exploration of relationships between film and video, a shadowplay giving a literal presentation of the "mechanics" of the brain, an advanced rhythmic structure extending the art of film into future possibilities through an organic development of new methods of information management. Science films made with the most serious attempt to explain complex processes to a general audience at a point in time tend to look ridiculous when viewed several decades later; with our MECHANICS OF THE BRAIN, we speed this process up.

Rental: $100.00
16mm Rental: $100.00

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