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February 2018, arsenal cinema

Big cinema, small cinema #18: Circles, spirals and stones


A spiraling spiral; a triangular shape comes into the picture; a circle that emerges and collapses. Can films be told without a plot?

Just as some painters have tried to make do without objects or composers without tonality, filmmakers have over and over again tried to eschew plot. In OPUS 2 (G 1921) and OPUS 3 (G 1924) by Walter Ruttmann, the main characters are geometrical shapes and their movements. In Hans Richter’s FILMSTUDIE (G 1926), people, faces and constructed objects appear while in Mary Ellen Bute's short film ESCAPE (USA 1937)and Lara Faroqhi’s CIRCLE PHASES (G 2018) the idea is to use pictures to make visible musical works. We want to explore whether stories can be told even if there is no real plot. (af) (11.2., for all those aged 8 and above)