Poetic Justice: Production Stills, and Fluxfilm | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Poetic Justice: Production Stills, and Fluxfilm 

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Fluxfilm is a 40-minute reel of playful short films by members of the 1960s Fluxus art movement, Yoko Ono among them; some are slight, a few are quite fine. The other films to be shown are serious and concentrated meditations on the nature of cinema that invite the viewer's reflective participation. For the whole length of Hollis Frampton's 30-minute black-and-white 1972 film "Poetic Justice," the camera focuses on a small table that has a pile of pages from a script on it; the image changes only when a new page is laid on top of the others. Tedious at first, the film becomes engaging as one starts to read the words on each page and imagine the extravagantly romantic scenes described--"Bedroom. Love Making. Outside the window is a storm on the rim of the sun." The longer the film goes on--and the more boring the image becomes--the more alluring are the thoughts the script evokes. Rarely screened, this film is part of Frampton's three-hour even more rarely screened film autobiography, Hapax Legomena. In Morgan Fisher's 1970 Production Stills, we see a series of black-and-white Polaroids being placed on a wall. It gradually becomes evident that these photos are of a crew with a large, professional Mitchell motion-picture camera, apparently shooting the film we are seeing. There's a bit of humor in the idea of this huge camera being used to film a tiny area of Polaroids--and a certain fascination in seeing a film record the process of its own making. School of the Art Institute, 112 S. Michigan, 13th floor, Thursday, November 21, 4:30, 312-345-3588.

--Fred Camper

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Productions Stills movie still.

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