Greenaway & his collaborator Istvan Horkay

Peter Greenaway came to GOMA cinematheque in the context of the Brisbane Festival.  It was an entire event with a lead up with projections of early short movies and some long feature films (see previous post ‘Water Wrackets’).  I was happy to watch the 2 hour-film condensed version of  Tulse Luper before the actual VJ performance. I walked out feeling that it would be greater to see this dense layered work on DVDs or/and as a television series with possibilities of pausing and digesting the material in our own rhythm! As the visual quality was as sophisticated (worked with his collaborator Istvan Horkay) as the narrative.   Then, I saw the VJ performance, pretty wild, fast paced and very loud, with 3-screen projections on either side of the huge hall.  Recognising the material seen previously, I was wondering how it felt for people who didn’t….  Is impact of speed and volume greater than the content?  I was attracted by the LED screen at the end of the hall, featuring the titles of each chapter/suitcase but also interfacing with the outside night lights of Brisbane shining through it!  Greenaway started the performance with a 10-minute talk which is resumed in this interview.

“Cinema is dead since 1983 with the invention of the remote control” says Greenaway.  I would say maybe for the linear narrative cinema (although Tulse Luper has a narrative and linearity)?  As for me there is an entire form which had developed since the 1920’s with Russian constructivism, non-narrative cinema using the power of  the frame, endless possibilities of analogies underlined by visual and rhythmical compositions and 1983 was also the year of Koyaanisqatsi by Reggio, opening technical possibilities (new lenses and various speed: timelapse and very slow motion) but above all allowing audience feeling and perception to interpret this apology of humankind without words!  Yes, the remote control gave access to skip, surf, jump cuts but the frame of the screen is mostly thought still as bi-dimensional while I am very interested to know more about its mobility and tri-dimentionality, ackowledging the “immersion” given by the depth of field of the projection… pondering, pondering….. I’d like to know more about interesting VJ artists, who use interfaces to layer contents in a meaningful way vs gimmickry!  Do you have links, info, suggestions?

2 Responses to “Greenaway & his collaborator Istvan Horkay”

  1. Charp says:

    Very interesting. Amusing if it was true: an new control -remote but still control- gives way to new freedoms..
    And interesting that this point of view is defended by one of the master of the “narrative cinema”, with drawning by numbers, and zoo.

  2. suzon says:

    Yes, contradiction between what Greenaway says and what his work looks like…even with Tulse Luper, the narrative is still there, maybe generated in other ways (via internet, with possibilities for audience to participate/contribute to the story!), chopped in loops corresponding to the suitcase’s numbers (a bit like chapters and paragraphs), still narrative!
    the imagery’s layering is quite intricate but not the VJ-ing, which on its own seems (to me) to be a mode of delivery not a genre!
    am really interested to get info (links) to interesting VJ works.

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