September 20, 2009

"Unending Duration" - Peter Gidal's "Clouds" (1969)

 Clouds (1969) 
1969, 10 min, silent, b&w 

"The anti-illusionist project engaged by Clouds is that of dialectic materialism. There is virtually nothing on screen, in the sense of in screen. Obsessive repetition as materialist practice not psychoanalytical indulgence." - Peter Gidal, November, 1975.  
(via UbuWeb)

"The question of making things difficult for the spectator in my films is absolutely crucial and historically so, because that is where the break always comes. In the cinema, more than any other art form, the question of difficulty is always raised. With other things there are conventions: for example, it's okay to spend until two o'clock in the morning checking a difficult footnote in a book; difficult paintings are okay because you can walk past them in seconds. But film has an authoritarian structure built into its mechanism in terms of time, being held there for a period of time, which is why most film goes out of its way to avoid precisely that as an issue, whereas my work goes out of its way to raise it as one." - Peter Gidal  (via Screenonline

"It (unending duration) positions the viewer in a place of seeing, i.e. perception, without conflating that into knowing (as it is one extreme function, not the whole), without mixing the two up. The separation of the two underlies avant-garde film from Warhol on." - Peter Gidal, 1981.  (via Luxonline)

Gidal's essay, "Theory and Definition of Structural / Materialist Film" (1976), here.

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