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.
Moving spheres, such as balloons and bubbles, are superimposed on static backgrounds to suggest travel and discovery. There are perils: a boy falls, a lion roars. The lyric flights of ... See full summary »
A man opens the big gates to the Lumière factory. Through the gateway and a smaller doorway beside it, workers are streaming out, turning either left or right. Most of them are women in ... See full summary »
An old hermit lives in a slum and wants to teach the alphabet to the children regularly go there to play. What makes the hermit happiest however, is when he comes to the letter P (for "... See full summary »
Pictures of the Old World is an unquestioned masterpiece of European documentary cinema, with existential radicalism that offers a contrast to the shallowness of hundreds of other ... See full synopsis »
A group of people are standing in a straight line along the platform of a railway station, waiting for a train, which is seen coming at some distance. When the train stops at the platform, ... See full summary »
The film is an artistically spare depiction of the Greek myth of Sysiphus, sentenced to eternally roll a stone up a mountain. The story is presented in a single, unbroken shot, consisting ... See full summary »
Ernie Gehr's structuralist masterpiece SERENE VELOCITY is a hypnotic film which is nothing more than a rapidly edited, rhythmic piece consisting of two shots of an office hallway (one long shot, one zoomed-in close up). Our persistence of vision makes us believe that this film is a perpetual zooming in and out from one end of a hallway to another. Rather, it is a carefully edited and timed film, which consistently cuts back and forth between these two shots. The result is a mesmerizing piece which, as it progresses, treats the eyes to much profundity out of something so simple. We begin to notice the perfect geometry of the composition as the lines of the hallway converge to the center. The film becomes some kind of cosmic heartbeat, as this meticulously timed work of art becomes visual music. There is no beginning, middle or end. It is for the eyes what Steve Reich is for the ears. For an equally hypnotic viewing experience, see also Gehr's masterpiece SIDE/WALK SHUTTLE.
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