Cineinfinito #316: Étienne O’Leary

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Étienne O'Leary was an experimental filmmaker, composer and painter from Quebec born on October 24, 1944 in Montreal and died on October 17, 2011 in the same city. He is a key figure in the French underground cinema of the 1960s.

Étienne O'Leary studied at the Collège Stanislas in Montreal and then came to France in 1958, when he was 14 years old. In 1964 he made a film during a vacation in Chamonix with his first camera, a Beaulieu 16 mm, which his father gave him; the film has disappeared. Passionate about cinema, he entered the same year at the independent French film conservatory. A regular visitor to the Museum of Modern Art in Paris and the Cinémathèque française, O'Leary was as interested in music, painting or photography as he was in cinema. In Paris he discovers the films of Warhol, Markopoulos and Man Ray, Kandinsky's painting and the composers Cage, Xenakis and Stockhausen, among others.

In 1966 he made his first film, Day Tripper / Le Voyageur diurne, which he made in its entirety. He produced a soundtrack made up of collages of various sound elements, noises and even some distorted music tracks that he recorded himself. Using his Beaulieu camera allows him to advance 16mm film backwards and create double exposure effects by shooting the film a second time or flash effects by superimposing images of several different scenes. The film image is almost entirely the result of camera editing, which produces a succession of fragmented and deconstructed images (as well as sounds).

Homeo, in 1967, was an opportunity for O'Leary to continue his visual and sound experiments. The rhythm is more lively, and the superimpositions are more numerous.


– Day Tripper / Le Voyageur diurne (1966), 16mm, b&w, sound, 9 min. – Homeo (1967), 16mm, color, sound, 38 min. – Chromo Sud (1968), 16mm, color, sound, 21 min.

Screening format: HD (new scans)

Special thanks to Light Cone

Cineinfinito #316: Etienne O’Leary



Thursday, May 11, 2023 - 18:00



Thursday, May 11, 2023 - 18:00
  • Calle Casimiro Sainz, s/n
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