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The Cut Ups (1966)

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Brion Gysin
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montage | experimental film | See All (2) »

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Featured in William S. Burroughs: Commissioner of Sewers (1991) See more »

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rapid-fire editing and non-sequiturs in this experimental short film "Yes, hello? Thank you."
1 July 2005 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

The spoken words in this are mostly limited, with many variations, to "Yes, hello" and "Look at that picture. Does it seem to be persisting? Good. Thank you."

It's composed of many short clips of Brion Gysin and of WIlliam Burroughs, sometimes together. Gysin walks through the street wearing a sweater with some of the calligraphic characters he created on it. In some of the early shots, Burroughs seems to be rifling through things, or packing. Many of the shots are sped up, and the editing is very, very quick.

There are a number of shots of Gysin's Dreamachine, and also of him working on various paintings and calligraphic designs. Many of these start with a paint roller rolling out a rough sort of grid, sometimes some of which is shaded and then repeatedly written over.

As with Towers Open Fire, this can be found on the videotape Towers Open Fire and Other Films by Antony Balch, and as a special feature on the DVD of the horror anthology film Bizarre, also directed by Balch. (The Cut Ups is far more bizarre.)

What does it all mean? Who knows?


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