Ken Jacobs

Soft Rain (1968) 16mm, color, 12 min

Genre: Experimental

Three identical prints of a single 100 ft. fixed-camera take are shwon from beginning to end-roll light-flare, with a few feet of blackness preceding/bridging/following the rolls. View from the above is of a partially snow-covered low flat rooftop receding between the brick walls of two much taller downtown N. Y. loft buildings. A slightly tilted rectangular shape left of the center of the composition is the section of rain-wet Reade Street visible to us over the low rooftop. Distant trucks, cars, persons carrying packages, umbrellas sluggishly pass across this little stage-like area. A fine rain-mist is confused, visually, with the color emulsion grain. A large black rectangle following up and filing to space above the stage-area is seen as both an unlikely abyss extending in deep space behind the stage or more properly, as a two dimensional plane suspended far forward of the entire snow/rain scene. Though it clearly if slightly overlaps the two receding loft building walls the mind, while knowing better, insists on presuming it to be overlapped by them. (At one point the black plane even trembles). So this mental tugging takes place throughout. The contradiction of 2D reality versus 3D implication is asuminglyand mysteriously explicit. Filmed at 24 f. p. s. but projected at 16 the street activity is perceptively slowed down. It's become a somewhat heavy laboring. The loop repetition (the series hopefully will intrigue you to further run-throughs) automatically imparts a steadily growing rhythmic sense of the street-activities. Anticipation for familiar movement-complexes builds, and as all smaller complexities join up in our knowledge of the whole the purely accidental counter-passings of people and vehicles becomes satisfyingly cogent, seems rhythmically structured and of a piece. Becomes choreography. --K. J.

Rental: $48.00
16mm Rental: $48.00

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