Birth of Magellan | Chicago Reader

Birth of Magellan

Part of a year-long, citywide series on filmmaker Hollis Frampton—which concludes with a symposium in February 2010—this program collects five parts of the filmmaker’s monumental unfinished "Magellan" cycle. All of them are great, but the masterpieces are Mindfall I (1980) and Mindfall VII (1980), showing back to back. Frampton began as a still photographer, and the films reflect his admiration for Edward Weston: images of lush nature and of buildings against sky are superimposed on themselves, then intercut with brief, two-color abstract animations that emphasize or contrast with the photographic imagery’s color, shape, or texture. Diverse, asynchronous sounds, such as machine noises over nature images, create a labyrinth of connections; like much of the best avant-garde film, the Mindfall segments attempt to "model consciousness" (Frampton's phrase) in all its complexities. Also on the program are Matrix (1977) and, from 1980, Cadenza I and Cadenza XIV. 87 min.

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