Robert Citron

Vigeland On Life (1965) 16mm, black and white, 8 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Art & Artists, Philosophical

... Robert Citron began filming on 8mm at the age of 16 (in 1948) with an old Keystone camera and by 1962 had graduated to the best 8mm Bolex reflex. However, in 1963 he made the big jump to 16mm, and "Vigeland on Life" was his first film in the new gauge. During the winter of 1963-64, Mr. Citron was working at the University of Oslo, and while there he decided to make a film about the famous Vigeland statues which had left a great impression on him during previous visits to Norway. The idea of using the poetry from The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran, to match the symbolism of the statuary came while planning the film. The producer says combining the artistic skills of these two men was a great challenge. He first photographed each of Vigeland's 56b bronze statues with a 35 mm still camera, taking several pictures of each piece from various angles and under different conditions of illumination. The poetry was then selected to match these photographs which formed the basis of the actual shooting script. The epilogue from "The Discovery of the Future, " by H. G. Wells, was used to convey an overall philosophical climax to the poetic imagery. The film was shot in color and printed in black and white to obtain an ethereal quality, and all editing, fades and dissolves were done in the camera. "... The people who applauded felt that the thoughts Robert Citron of South Africa tried to illustrate in his film were about beauty, life and love. The people who walked out interpreted it to be about sex. Excerpts from Kahlil Gibran's philosophy were combined with the nude figures of Gustave Vigeland's sculpture. The poetry or pornography controversy inspired by the film certainly proves it had an impact. And it must have been cinematic, or Citron could not have made so many viewers uncomfortable with his perfectly stationary bronze people." -- Camille J. Cook, P. S. A. Journal

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00

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