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Zorns Lemma (1970)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary  |  12 September 1970 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 392 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 4 critic

A rhythmically edited alphabet composed of street and shop signs shot in New York City and other elements is gradually replaced by repeated seemingly abstract shots in this influential structuralist film.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Rosemarie Castoro ...
(voice)
Ginger Michels ...
(voice)
Marcia Steinbrecher ...
(voice)
...
(voice)
Susan Weiner ...
(voice)
Joyce Wieland ...
(voice)
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Storyline

A rhythmically edited alphabet composed of street and shop signs shot in New York City and other elements is gradually replaced by repeated seemingly abstract shots in this influential structuralist film.

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Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Release Date:

12 September 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zorns Lemma  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Amazing
1 March 2004 | by (England) – See all my reviews

This is an amazing experimental film from American avant-garde filmmaker Hollis Frampton. It begins with a dark screen and a woman narrating from The Bay State Primer, an early American grammar textbook that teaches the letters of the alphabet by using them in sentences derived from the Bible, then the rest of the film is mostly silent. It presents us with a recurring structure that perpetually moves throughout a 24-letter alphabet via various signs in New York with words that propel the film along. Gradually other images are added to the loop, some of them themselves slowly developing as we arrive at them the next time around. It concludes with a man, woman and dog crossing a snowy field, while several narrators each narrate one word at a time read from an 11th century treatise, "On Light, or the Ingression of Forms", by Robert Grosseteste. Ambiguous, metaphorical and fascinating. A veritable masterpiece of structural filmmaking. 

The film is also a major influence on Peter Greenaway - it is one of the films he most admires.


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