Ken Jacobs

Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son (1969) 16mm, color & b/w, 115 min

Genre: Experimental

"Cinematography ass't., Jordan Meyers. Negative-matching assistance by Judy Dauterman. Original 1905 film shot and probably directed by G. W. 'Billy' Bitzer, rescued by Kemp Niver via a paper print filed for copyright purposes with the Library of Congress. Reverently examined here, a new movie almost incidentally comes into being. Ghosts! Cine-recordings of the vivacious doings of persons long dead. The preservation of their memory ceases at the edges of the frame (a 1905 hand happened to stick into the frame. . . it's preserved, recorded in a spray of emulsion grains). One face passes 'behind' another on the two-dimensional screen. The staging and cutting is pre-Griffith. Seven infinitely complex cine-tapestries comprise the original film and the style is not primitive, not uncinematic, but an inspired indication of a path of cinematic development whose value has only recently been rediscovered. My camera closes in only to better ascertian the infinite richness (playing with fate, taking advantage of the loop-character of all movies, recalling and varying some visual complexes again and again for particular savoring), searching out incongruities in the story-telling (a person, confused, suddenly looks out of an actor's 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 show the actual present of film, just begin to indicate its energy. A train of images passes like enough and different enough to imply to the mind that its eyes are seeing an arm lift, or a door close: 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 grain pattern itself-a chemical disdispersion pattern unique to each frame, each cold still. . . stirred to life by a successive 16-24 f. p. s pattering on our retinas, the teeming energies elicited ( the grains! the grains!) then collaborating, unknowling and ironically, for form the always-poignant-because-always-past illusion. Important: this film MUST be projected BIG and BRIGHT and IN FOCUS" -K. J Projected quarterly at The Anthology Film Archives of New York

Rental: $270.00
16mm Rental: $270.00

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