Kerry Laitala

Secure the Shadow (1997) 16mm, color, 8 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Philosophical

"Secure the Shadow" is a meditation on disintegration and morality. The film utilizes antique Medical stereoscopic images from the Victorian era, which are simultaneously disturbing and beautiful. The filmmaker's intention is to reveal universal truths about the overwhelming quality of disease to render us ultimately mute, immobilized within a corporeal shell that has succumbed to imminent forces beyond our control. The filmmaker's also wants the film to address the myth that dignity is automatically restored upon the visage when facing death. In analyzing the original function of the stereoscopes, the filmmaker intends to expose their classificatory nature. These anonymous subjects were reduced to paradigms of pathology, embalmed in time within their exterior presence. By re-photographing them on the optical printer and placing them in a mythical home, the filmmaker endeavors to reanimate these visages to ensnare them, or allow them to roam free on the surface of celluloid. Absence transforms to presence as the latent image reveals the manifest content, the slippery territories in between unraveling like the threads joining the crazy quilt that joins images together. An anachronistic Victorian sensibility places the images in a chimerical, historical context that embodies the film with a mind that is paradoxical and alien to our Twentieth century perspective. The title "Secure the Shadow...'Ere the Substance Fade,let nature imitate what nature has made", comes from a Nineteenth century post mortem photographer who advertised his services. This reference speaks about the function of photography as a democratizing medium that assists in the process of mourning and serves as a physical reminder of loss.

Rental: $40
16mm Rental: $40

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