Prismatic flares surge his mind’s
Rivers; obscuring hellish
Memoirs with gallant veneer.
Real war, his war: at war.
Kaleidoscopic Reverie explores the inner turmoil of a returned soldier as, erratically, he reminisces on his experiences in the war. The fast-paced rhythm of the piece reflects the rapidly chopping and changing rhythm of his memories, as they bounce, like streams of light, throughout his imagination. Thus, explosions of colour, and the patterns created through rhythmic editing contrast with moments of decay; which slowly come to consume his hyper-real memories in order to depict a duplicitous remembrance of war: the glorified and the actual.
A detailed outline of my artistic process can be found underneath the video below.
WARNING: This video contains images of war, which may be distressing for some individuals.
EXPLORATION OF CAMERALESS FILM
In the creation of my experimental film project, I used a variety of cameraless film techniques; including:
- Coloration (by painting, and using felt-tip pens)
For this project, I experimented with 16mm film using cameraless and digital techniques. The content for this project was sourced from the university, and the meaning of the project was shaped as the footage was edited together, resulting in the work above.
The physicality of the film influenced my style of editing, as I aimed to imitate the cameraless techniques using the digital process of post-production editing. Some of my main considerations when editing are outlined below.
I aimed to explore irregular rhythms in juxtaposition to a regular rhythm. I did this by editing my clips to music (so that a regular 4/4 time could be established through the length of the clips). I then listened for the irregularities within the music (off-beats, back-beats etc.) and began layering clips which aligned with these moments, thus creating an irregular rhythm. Overall, this rhythmic editing style came to reflect the rhythms of the soldier’s thoughts as they rapidly chopped and changed. I also utilised discontinuity editing to structure the piece – as it temporally progresses to appear more alike to a Surrealist montage than a narrative-centred cinematic piece.
I used layering in order to create complex images within the piece. Most predominantly, I utilised a double exposure effect, and experimented with rotation, flipping, and blend modes. In addition I utilised repetition of clips in combination with a reverse effect to create the illusion that moments were being replayed in real time.
Tacita Dean – FILM
Something that was characteristic for me when viewing Tacita Dean’s FILM was her use of vivid colours. For me, this contrasted the array of sepia and black and white found footage I was using for my project, thus, giving it a modern-edge. So, colour became one of the main components I explored through my editing process.
Another thing that interested me was Tacita’s discussion (see the video above) of flash frames, and how – although they are traditionally discarded – she embraced them within her work. I reflected this within my own work by using flash frames at regular intervals (pictured below) to create a regular rhythm.
The Kuleshov Effect
My use of discontinuity editing was heavily influenced by the idea of placing different images ahead of a recurring image in order to create new meaning. This is reflected in the repetitious use of the profile clip of the man, combined with various clips of war footage to connote that he is reflecting upon memories and re-experiencing them.
Bill Morrison – Light Is Calling
The effects achieved by Morrison through his cameraless techniques produced visually stunning decay which I wanted to replicate within my own work. What interested me was that often, the decay was shaped around the central point of the image – allowing the viewer to still comprehend what was happening in the clip itself. So, throughout the progression of my piece the digitally-created decay allows images to be seen through it at first, but, slowly takes over the entire image, like a parasite devouring its host. And, as such, the soldier’s thoughts are symbolised through this decay, as they slowly consume him.
Martin Arnold – Passage A La Carte
What interested me about Arnold’s piece was the meticulous repetition of short frames. I applied this technique to my own editing process, repeating short frames to create a rhythm that was visually representent of the digital-noise-like audio that resulted from Arnold’s experimentation. Thus, creating a subtle digital decay which complements the organic decay I created in response to Morrison’s work.
The fast-paced, repetitious editing style of the scene from 50:29-52:05 in the clip below heavily informed by vivid, ‘trippy’, and psychedelic aesthetic.
Edwin Starr – War (What is it good for?)
As I edited my work in relation to its thematic concerns, I felt that Edwin Starr’s lyrics “what is it good for?” were highly applicable and decided to incorporate them into my work through the use of text (pictured below)