Underground Film Journal

Posted In » Screenings

Jefferson Presents: Experiments On Film No. 110

By Mike Everleth ⋅ March 25, 2010

Abstract drawing of a man wearing a hat

March 27
8:00 p.m.
Garfield Artworks
4931 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA

Hosted by: Jefferson Presents

Catch a rare screening of British experimental filmmaker Malcolm Le Grice’s structural masterpiece Blackbird Descending — Tense Alignment.

Made in 1977, Blackbird Descending — Tense Alignment begins with a simple setup: A woman sits in front of a window typing. Outside the window a man prunes a tree and a woman hangs up variously colored sheets. The same scene is continuously repeated for approximately two hours, but filmed from different angles each time it repeats. But, with each new angle, the actions change subtly. Also, the camera is eventually revealed filming the previous scenes.

Le Grice originally started his artistic career as a painter, but turned to Super-8 filmmaking in the mid-1960s. Blackbird Descending — Tense Alignment is part of an avant-garde trilogy, which also includes the films Emily (1978), and Finnegans Chin (1981) (neither of which are screening as a part of this program). All three films in the trilogy deal with intense narrative manipulations of domestic situations.

If you want to learn more about Le Grice, this Screenonline short bio has some great information. (Actually, everything in the above paragraph is from that article.)

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