James Cagle

Metonic Cycles (1974) 16mm, color, 11.5 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Philosophical, Structural

... is the most esoteric film I have made. It moves in a calculated, almost mathematical way. It is without any kind of special effect. With the exception of a type of rhythm that is established, its evocation is dependent upon the content of each image and how the images relate to each other relative to their position in time and space. The film is divided into five distinct sections. The first, third and fifth are all 100 foot takes, while the second and fourth are made up of numerous images which belong to more of a general content. The observer, because he/she is viewing the film within a concise period of time, is forced to relate disparate images. In this respect, the content is somewhat surrealistic although I believe its primary effect is one of extra-objectivity. A Metonic cycle is a period of roughly 19 years, at the end of which the phases of the moon recur in the same order and on the same days as in the preceding cycle. It was discovered by Meton, an Athenian astronomer of the fifth century B. C. I am particularly intrigued by this type of measurement and also by the fact that the system was devised so long ago. While there is no over connection between this and the film, the elements of mystery, history and the passing of time implicit in my view of Meton, his position in time and his discovery constitute my primary motivations for making the film. METONIC CYCLES raises many types of questions. They are questions which deal with philosophy and perception. While the questions are not answered, the observer, if on the proper wavelength, can develop an ambivalence, that is, a feeling that is a mixture of comprehension and lack-of-comprehension. The resulting point-of-view can be one of acceptance, e. g., that while the images have an unreal appearance, this is the way things really are.

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00

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