David Crosswaite - Film Number 1 C (1971)

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Originally a 1971 16mm film made from standard 8mm footage (one frame in each quarter). This version made into a 2 screen film.

"Crosswaite, like the best English film makers can be labelled a 'structuralist', though his definition limits too severely the various aesthetic concepts at work. Film No. 1 is a ten minute loop film. The systems of super-imposed loops are mathematically in a complex manner. The starting and cut off points for each loop are not clearly exposed, but through repetitions of sequences in different colours, in different 'material' realities (i.e. a negative, positive, bas-relief, neg-pos overlay) yet in constant rhythm (both visually and on the soundtrack hum) one is manipulated to attempt to work out the system structure. One relates to the repetitions in such a way that one concentrates on working out the serial formula while visually experiencing (and enjoying) the film at the same time. One of the superimposed loops is made of alternating mattes, so that the screen is broken up into four more or less equal rectangles of which, at any one moment, two or three are blocked out (matted). The matte-positioning is rhythmically structured, thus allowing each of the two represented images to flickeringly appear in only one frame-corner at a time. This film powerfully strengthens the film's existence as selective reality manipulated by the film-maker and exposed as such. The mattes are slightly 'off', there is no perfect mechanical fit, so that the process of the physical matte-construction by the film-maker, is constantly noticeable, as one matte (at times of different hue, of different colour) blends in with the edge of the matte next to it (horizontally or vertically). The film deals with permutations of material, in a prescribed manner but one by no means 'necessary' or logical (except within the film's own constructed system/serial.)

The dyeing of the films in colours is never set up in a pattern suggesting some sort of logical progression of constancy, on the contrary, the viewer at first reacts as if this were the case (colour narrative) but eventually realises the open situation and deals with the film's colours for what they are and not in terms of ultimate 'design' or 'purpose'. The films are non-climactic, they ultimately lead you, not to resolution, but to yourself." - Peter Gidal.

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