Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Century 21: Abstract Movie or Digital Painting or Something

For several days I'd been wondering what happened to avant-garde film making in the United States after the nineteen-eighties. And then today I stumbled upon an abstract movie called 'Century 21' by Jeremy Blake, an artist who apparently commited suicide about a year ago. It was made in 2004 and combines many layers of imagery from photos, 8 mm film, digital painting, movie star pictures, cartoons and even what appears to be cloth. The soundtrack is full of subtle wind, footsteps, squeals, and gunshots.

I think this video is probably one of the best short movies I have ever seen. I can think of no avant-garde film that is better. I haven't seen a huge number, but I have seen enough to recognize this thing for what it is. It is gorgeous, mysterious, evocative, surreal, frightening and just simply from another world. This guy was some kind of fantastic genius and this piece of work is absolutely masterful.

Century 21 is the third part of something the artist called The Winchester Trilogy. I have not seen the first two parts because I don't think they are available on the web. I think the movies are meant to be shown as continuous loops. The link to the video that I provide is to a long version of the work that appears to be looped several times. I mean holy dumbfounding shit, what a find!

Go watch Century 21

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