15/05/2015

New DVD release / Nouvelle sortie DVD - Christian Lebrat – Vibrations

Christian Lebrat has created over twenty experimental films, videos, and film performances, along with a formidable body of photographic work, with a career spanning over 30 years. In the last ten years he has had over a dozen major international retrospectives of his films. He began working in photography in 1978 and has been exhibiting regularly since 1982. His works are in several public collections, such as: National Museum of Modern Art (Centre Pompidou Paris), FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Forum des Images (Paris), Les archives du film expérimental d’Avignon, Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris), National Center of Contemporary Art (Moscow).

Eleven of his most important films are now being released on DVD for the first time, by Re:Voir Video. You can ORDER HERE.

A limited edition DVD, containing strips of film of “Holon” and signed by the artist will be released June 6th 2015, at the opening of the “Rubans” photo exhibition. The event will take place at The Film Gallery / Re:Voir Video Paris, starting 6pm and the show will be on display for a month. Vernissage: http://on.fb.me/1ehCk5H











The expressionist abstract painting (particularly that of Mark Rothko) and the radical films of Peter Kubelka (of whom he published the first existing monography) have been highly influential to Christian Lebrat’s art. His films focus on the deconstruction of the film frame by employing transparent light patterns and creating unexpected colour alliterations. The abstract is not a purpose in itself but only the consequence of a pathway chosen both for his conceptual as for his more narrative films. Recently he restarted working with the performance medium, integrating direct painting on the film and making videos in parallel as a form of installation.


Christian Lebrat – Vibrations

Since I began making films I have always been interested in the fact that the image in cinema – the image on the screen – does not exist at all. It is an immaterial image: you cannot touch it, it’s only light, projected light.
If you are a filmmaker you have to deal with this very strong characteristic of cinema: on one hand you work with the celluloid which is a very concrete medium. You can touch it, cut it, work frame by frame and so on, and on the other hand, when this celluloid is projected, the concrete images are transformed into projected light. So, when you make a film, you must keep in mind that the celluloid on which the images are printed will be transformed into light by the projector. For this reason, the work of a filmmaker is essentially to do with rhythm, speed, movement and mutations of light.
The work is between: between the frames, between colors, between the act of shooting the celluloid and the act of projecting it into light.
And this is why you cannot imagine the film – your film – without projecting it. And this is a very important and obvious element of my films. For example, the still images of my films published in this review cannot give any idea of the projected film. They do not provide any idea of the rhythms, of the mutations of colors, of the colors themselves, because the concrete colors on the celluloid are sometimes completely transformed into others by the act of projection.
Film is just magic because it can produce unexpected and extraordinary effects of this sort.

(Excerpt from a lecture given throughout Australia in November 1990. 
Published in Cantrills Filmnotes, no. 65-66, october 1991, pp. 56-58
The full text is republished in the accompanying booklet of the Vibrations DVD)

Critical quotes:

Christian Lebrat developed, during the 1970s and 1980s, an investigation into abstraction that has altered the history of experimental cinema. In his performance of Liminal Minimal, Lebrat strives to reinvent the rhythmic units of film by arranging colors according to combinatory formulae. In playing with the size of images, their superimposition or juxtaposition on two screens, or the tilt and zoom of the projectors, the filmmaker reinvents, in his own manner, the very boundaries of frame in cinematic projection.
Philippe-Alain Michaud

In Trama (1978-1980), Christian Lebrat creates colors “not on the screen but in the eyes,” like those colors that captivated Goethe. Thus the experience bears on time, but also on the very being of color.

Jacques Aumont

Here, color is no longer tint nor tone; it becomes warmth, breath, unquestionable mirage. Cinema is no longer representation, but thermodynamics.
Nicole Brenez

Lebrat’s films present a uniquely French response to the systematic organizational schemes of the so-called structural films of the time: though often abstract, they undercut predictability, seem open to chance, and have a wonderful sensual, almost airy sense of color. Holon (1982), perhaps the strongest, is a rapid wash of blurred, moving colors; the absence of hard edges plunges the viewer into a lush jungle of indistinct forms.
Fred Camper

Christian Lebrat is not only perhaps the most important French experimental filmmaker, but also—and above all—a genuine and indefatigable explorer in the greater sphere of visual arts.
Andrea Monti

For more information on Christian Lebrat visit his website: http://www.christian-lebrat.net/


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Nouvelle sortie DVD - Christian Lebrat – Vibrations

Christian Lebrat a réalisé depuis 1976 une vingtaine de films, vidéos et performances et développé en parallèle un important corpus photographique. Ses œuvres font partie des collections du Musée national d’art moderne (Centre Pompidou), du FNAC, du Frac Champagne-Ardenne, du Forum des images (Paris), de la BnF (Paris) et du National Center of Contemporary Art (Moscou). Onze de ses plus importants films viennent d’être publiées dans le nouveau DVD Vibrations, édité par Re:Voir Vidéo. À commander ici.

Pellicule du film "Trama" (1978-1980)

Une édition limitée du DVD, signé par Christian Lebrat et contenant un morceau de pellicule du film “Holon” sera mise en vente samedi, le 6 juin 2015, au vernissage de son exposition photo “Rubans”, à la Film Gallery Paris / Re:Voir Vidéo. Le vernissage débutera à 18h00 et l’exposition restera ouverte au public pendant un mois. Vernissage: http://on.fb.me/1ehCk5H

Fortement marqués d’une part par la peinture expressionniste abstraite (surtout Mark Rothko) et, d’autre part, par le radicalisme des films de Peter Kubelka dont il publiera la première monographie, les films de Christian Lebrat se caractérisent par la décomposition de l’image en particules (bandes de lumière) dans le but de faire exploser le cadre de l’image et créer des intensités colorées inédites. L’abstraction n’est pas un but en soi, mais l’aboutissement d’une démarche qui s’exprime aussi à travers des films plus « narratifs », voire « conceptuels ». Plus récemment il est revenu à la performance en intégrant la peinture directe sur pellicule dans ses travaux, tout en développant parallèlement une œuvre vidéo sous forme de projection ou d’installation.

Christian Lebrat – Vibrations
                                                                                                       
Depuis que je fais des films, j’ai toujours été intéressé par le fait que l’image au cinéma – l’image sur l’écran – n’existe pas du tout. C’est une image immatérielle : vous ne pouvez pas la toucher, c’est seulement de la lumière, de la lumière projetée.
Si vous êtes un cinéaste, vous avez affaire avec cette très forte caractéristique du cinéma : d’un côté vous travaillez avec le celluloïd qui est un support très concret, vous pouvez le tenir dans vos mains, le couper, travailler image par image et ainsi de suite, et de l’autre côté, quand ce celluloïd est projeté, les images concrètes se transforment en lumière projetée. Ainsi, quand vous faites un film, vous devez avoir à l’esprit que le celluloïd sur lequel les images sont impressionnées sera transformé en lumière par le projecteur. Pour cette raison, le travail du cinéaste a essentiellement à voir avec le rythme, la vitesse, le mouvement et les mutations de la lumière.
Son travail se situe entre : entre les images, entre les couleurs, entre l’impression des images sur le celluloïd et leur projection lumineuse sur l’écran.
Et c’est la raison pour laquelle vous ne pouvez pas imaginer le film – votre film – sans le projeter. C’est une chose importante et évidente dans mes films. Par exemple, les images fixes ou photographies de mes films publiées ne peuvent donner aucune idée du film projeté. Elles ne rendent aucun compte du rythme, de la mutation des couleurs, ou bien même des couleurs elles-mêmes, parce que les couleurs sur le celluloïd sont parfois complètement transformées en d’autres couleurs par la projection.
Le cinéma est magique justement parce qu’il peut produire des effets inattendus et extraordinaires de ce genre.

(Extrait d’une série de conférences données en Australie en novembre 1990.
Publié dans Cantrills Filmnotes, n° 65-66, octobre 1991, pp. 56-58.
Le texte est republié dans le livret qui accompagne le DVD) 

Quelques notes critiques :

Christian Lebrat a développé dans les années 1970 et 1980 un travail sur l’abstraction qui a marqué l’histoire du cinéma expérimental. Dans la performance Liminal Minimal, Lebrat travaille à réinventer les unités de mesure du film en distribuant les couleurs selon des formules combinatoires. En jouant sur la dimension des images, la superposition ou la juxtaposition des deux écrans, leur inclinaison ou en manipulant le zoom des projecteurs, le cinéaste
réinvente à sa manière le cadre de la projection cinématographique.
Philippe-Alain Michaud

Dans Trama (1978-1980), Christian Lebrat a produit des couleurs “dans les yeux et pas sur l’écran”, comme les couleurs qui fascinaient Goethe. L’expérience porte donc sur le temps mais aussi sur l’être de la couleur.
Jacques Aumont

La couleur alors n’est plus teinte ni ton, elle devient chaleur, souffle, incontestable mirage ; le cinéma n’est plus représentation mais thermodynamique.
Nicole Brenez

Les films de Christian Lebrat sont une réponse spécifiquement française aux schémas méthodiques d’organisation de ce qu’on a appelé le cinéma structurel. Même s’ils sont souvent abstraits, ils restent imprévisibles, semblent ouverts au hasard et ont un sens merveilleusement sensuel de la couleur, voire un sens aérien. Holon (1982), peut-être le plus fort, est un balayage rapide de couleurs en
mouvement; l’absence de formes déterminées plonge le spectateur dans une jungle luxuriante de formes indistinctes.
Fred Camper

Christian Lebrat n’est pas seulement le cinéaste expérimental français peut-être le plus important, mais aussi et surtout un authentique et infatigable chercheur dans la sphère plus large des arts visuels.
Andrea Monti

Pour plus d’informations sur Christian Lebrat visitez : http://www.christian-lebrat.net/




23/04/2015

Jonas Mekas' WALDEN now available on VOD - HD streaming

"DIARIES, NOTES & SKETCHES - also known as WALDEN" (1969)

Poet and hero of the American counter-culture, Jonas Mekas, born in Lithuania in 1922, invented the diary form of film-making. WALDEN, his first completed diary film, shot between 1964-1969, is an epic portrait of the New York avant-garde art scene of the 60s and a groundbreaking work of personal cinema.



We are pleased to announce the release of an HD 1080p video version of "Walden", originating from a pristine 16mm print that was scanned in New York and tailor-compressed in close-collaboration with the Vimeo staff, to fit the modern demands of digital video streaming and at the same time remain truthful to the original 16mm film aesthetics. We have also added subtitles in six languages: French, Italian, German, Japanese, Lithuanian and Spanish to help make this available to the public all over the world. Nevertheless, to fully appreciate the beauty of "Walden", we encourage you to seek out a 16mm projection of the film in a screening event near where you live.



"Walden" (three hours long) comprises a total of six reels, each marking an episode of approx. 30 minutes in length. The film can be rented as a series of six-episodes or as individual episodes. The author itself has once released it this way, in installements, and recommends it be watched sequentially, "like a Dostoyevski novel."  To help navigate the six reels, a visual map was conceived by Jonas Mekas to help the public identify the vast array of characters and stories appearing in the film. It is available here: http://bit.ly/walden_reels



P. Adams Sitney on Walden:

"After nearly thirty years Jonas Mekas' "Walden" looms as a central cinematic document of daily life in the New York community of artists during one of its moments of splendor. Although Mekas is neither shocking nor confessional, he has marked every moment of this very long film with the nuances of his own personality. In the grand array of characters, mostly unnamed, or identified only by a Christian name, -- although some others are internationally famous -- the only psychological portrait is that of the filmmaker himself: an exiled Lithuanian poet fascinated and tortured by his slow Americanization. The film is possessed by a nervous, staccato rhythm that repeatedly opens out into expansive raptures. 




The massive accumulation of images provided Mekas with a unique archive for constructing this visual diary, the first of many he completed. Watching it now, we can recover a sense of that place and time that no other film can give us. As a minor character, periodically passing before my friend's camera, I recognize how fragmentary and elliptical his representation of others can be, and yet these images have become for me the strongest visual indices of who I was thirty years ago. That may be the core of Mekas' art: in finding a cinematic form in which he could capture his changing moods without imposing a coherent mask of himself, he has made a work that lets others appear in their phenomenal ambiguity."  P. Adams Sitney (1997)

Michael Snow on Jonas Mekas:

"The autobiographical direction taken by Jonas in his films parallels that taken by Stan Brakhage in many of his 60s and 70s films and this cinema form remains profoundly radical. An artist, his camera and the life around him can furnish all that is necessary for rich and public works of art.

Construction in this form has nothing theatrical; it is a fusing of the camera gesture spontaneously called for, by and with the event being recorded. Sequences can be as shot or revised on reflection later. Montage can be "played" with the event or with the film strip in editing. I think that in general our memories are not seen in the mind's eye as novels but are more frequently fragmentary essentialist visions. 

The methods of shooting, frequently single frame, used by Jonas have logical connections. The camera is not an instrument of memory (the life in its images is dead). The latent poignancy of the preservation of glimpses of always-over life is thus emphasized. Jonas has spent most of his life in New York but pastoral longing is a strong sentiment in his film diary. The presentness of his images, in two senses, when the events they depict took place and when one, a living spectator, is seeing them is enriched by his unpictured past, often represented by the "pastoral." [...]

The historic importance of the personally made film has been bravely stated by his saying, with Anthology Film Archives, that such films ought to be carefully treated, collected and shown, that the achievements of the past nurture the continuity of creative personal uses of cinema. [...]" Michael Snow, Codroy, Newfoundland, August 1997

Check out our ever-growing selection of films available for purchase through our VOD platform on Vimeo. http://vod.re-voir.com

You will find here trailers and links to the films we currently offer, but be sure to check back often, as this selection of films will be growing. All of the titles we have on our VOD will still be available for purchase as a DVD that you can add to your collection. Our DVDs include extensive booklets and design elements that we hope will enhance your experience of the film. Feel free to contact us at info@re-voir.com if there are any titles you would like to see added to this list in the near future.

Happy viewing,
RE:VOIR

17/04/2015

Takahiko Iimura Early Film Poems 1962-1971

Takahiko Iimura
Early Film Poems 1962-1971

(6 films, color & black and white, sound & silent, 44 min, DVD NTSC/region free),
public price: 50.00 euros

The Pacific Ocean (1971) 7min. music: Akiko Samuwaka (2012)
Kiri (The Fog) (1970) 3min, silent
Honey Moon (1966) 7min. music: Akiko Samuwaka (2012)
I Saw the Shadow (1966) 7min, silent
Iro (Colours) (1962) 10min. music: Yasunao Tone (1962)
Dada 62 (1962) 10min. music: Haruyuki Suzuki (2012)


I made these six short films during a decade of 1962 through 1971, the first 10 years of my filmmaking though the order in the DVD goes backward from 1971 to 1962. Besides this collection I have already published another package of the films made in the 1960 "60s Experiments" consisted of four films made during 1962-64. The films of this new collection have not shown much during past decades and myself re-discovered lately these ones as a sort of "film poem." "Film poem" is a term used in the 1960 for experimental film burrowing from literature field. It means non-narrative and short form mostly. Also it often meant lyrical as well though not necessarily so. In this collection it starts from lyrical "The Pacific Ocean"(1971) and ends up not lyrical, "DADA62" which is descriptive and often metaphorical at the same time. Between them there are varied sense of poem. -(T.I) 

The Pacific Ocean (1971)
Shot on 8mm on the 12-day boat journey between Yokohama and San Francisco, Iimura's The Pacific Ocean consumes the anticipation and uncertainties of a voyage on waves with an obsessive attention on the ripples. An added score by Akiko Samukawa (2012) deepens the anxiety as it sinks in that we are no longer aware of the direction in which we are heading.
 

Kiri (The Fog) (1970)
Shot on 8mm on a mountain in Japan, the abrasive winds that drift the fog in Iimura's Kiri are so fierce we almost believe it to have grazed the filmstrip. The scratches, however, emerge as dust particles that submerge in and out of the mist. A comparative piece to Larry Gottheim's Fog Line (1970), Kiri shows rare patience in such situations.
   

Honey Moon (1966)
A touching portrait of his partner Akiko and the days following their wedding, Iimura's conceptual rigor loosens in favor of intimacy in Honey Moon.

I Saw the Shadow (1966) 7min, silent

A painting by Jiro Takamatsu
A precedent to Iimura's video work where he becomes his own subject, I Saw the Shadow sees Iimura follow his own shadow in and out of vision as he roams around streets, steps and fields. As the film progresses, it becomes increasingly unclear whether it is his shadow or camera that is guiding his steps.


Iro (Colors) (1962)
First projected onto Jiro Takamatsu's naked back at the legendary Sogetsu Art Center for the performance Screen Play, Colors is an experiment in concoction. Iimura drops paint into oil and water and melts wax as he films the colors take shape whilst simultaneously dissolving into one another. An eerie soundtrack by Yasunao Tone of Group Ongaku and Fluxus creates an impression of music being the witch behind the craft.
-Julian Ross, University of Leeds

Dada 62 (1962)
Yomiuri Independent was an annual show between 1949-1963 that exhibited all art that was submitted. Artists in the early 60s began to take advantage of the challenge by provoking the organisers with their submissions that cast a question on the framework of art within the gallery space. The objet d'art and performances we see in Dada 62 are fragments of what 
was shown in its 1962 version with pieces by Genpei Akasegawa, Jiro Takamatsu and Shinmei Kojima making an appearance.(In case of the performance in 1963, Iimura interpreted a graphic score by Yasunao Tone in his projection of the film at the Naiqua Gallery where he performed the projector as an instrument. As usual for Iimura, the piece is not simply a document but an interaction with the art he films.)
-Julian Ross, University of Leeds

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