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

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