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Hapax Legomena II: Poetic Justice (1972)

This Experiment is a Scenario who Have 4 Act titled (1-4) Tableau. Poetic Justice is story about lovers who holding camera, Third Tableau is have Middle Shot and other Tableau is on various camera shot.


Hollis Frampton




This thirty-two minute film consists of a single closeup scene featured the entire run-time, showing a cactus to the left, a cup of coffee to the right, and a stack of papers in the middle. On these papers, the viewer is treated to reading hand-written screenplay for their own 'movie', using the different shots Frampton describes to create a mental film. The screenplay for the movie is broken up into four parts, labeled tableaux, and describes a self-reflective film involving the viewer himself, the viewer's lover, and the writer of the text. Written by Tornado_Sam

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A Movie of the Imagination
27 July 2019 | by Tornado_SamSee all my reviews

In "Poetic Justice", the second short film in the filmmaker's series "Hapax Legomena", Hollis Frampton challenges the viewer to something very difficult for the average person: to use his "film" as a tool to imagine a visual movie, one self-referential in concept and appealing strictly to the imagination of the audience. Furthermore, in doing so he is not only creating this challenge but also commenting on said imagination, daring us to visualize an entire movie helped only by the directions given us. To do such a thing one must have an incredible mind, and as we struggle to imagine the different shots he places before us, he is seemingly laughing at us from off-screen at how--ever since the beginning of the motion pictures--we are losing more and more the ability to create our own mental images.

The film consists of a single scene, one which is lacking in much visually so the viewer stays focused. For thirty-two minutes, an unbearable amount of time for some expecting a true plot, the audience is given a series of directions on how to imagine their own experimental movie--involving themselves, their lovers, and Frampton himself as the main characters. Each shot is given in order, and much of what this mind-movie is is largely self-referential with its still photographs, cameras and whatnot. The movie that is "Poetic Justice" is not a single closeup of a cactus, a cup of coffee and a bunch of papers, it is actually whatever your mind does with the instructions it is given. You can judge this film based only upon how much you enjoy the imagery that your mind makes up in correspondence with the written screenplay, because the physical movie by the director is not meant to be entertaining or even judged as a movie. Of course, some might just use Frampton's script to create a true film with their own camera, but that would be entirely against the filmmaker's intent.

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Release Date:

10 April 2012 (USA) See more »

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Poetic Justice See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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