Thursday, July 17, 2008

Inner "Outer Space"

Eleven consecutive frames from the forty-third second of Peter Tscherkassky's "Outer Space", 1999.  

This monumental ten-minute film begins with the coruscating image of a house at night, an effect created using a contact printer; Tscherkassky illuminates different portions of the same "found" footage image in each frame.  The resulting stroboscopic montage is beautiful and ominous, disjointed and unsettling.

An archetypal horror image:  the exterior of the victim's house from the perspective of an unknown, presumably malicious force lurking in the darkness.  The house is brightly lit—all the better to be seen from the shadows.  The interior of the house is also dark, its inhabitants unaware and vulnerable.  The refracted image of the facade hints at the ensuing sublimation of the female resident.

These frames pass before the eye in just under half a second.

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