The Primacy of Form: Kubleka & Kren | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Primacy of Form: Kubleka & Kren 

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The short, highly concentrated films of Peter Kubelka have given me some of the most ecstatic experiences I've had watching movies. No other filmmaker has realized the idea of cinema as light, shadow, and sound organized in time with more purity and precision. The images in Adebar (1957)--commissioned as an ad for a Vienna cafe--are of couples dancing, seen in stark silhouette. Kubelka creates the film's strict rhythmic structure by limiting his shot lengths and using only a few fixed multiples of 13 frames; by also cutting between positive and negative images and moving and still shots, he creates in less than two minutes a film as precise as classical music and approaching the solidity of architecture. Five of Kubelka's six films will be shown on this program--the others are Pause! (1977), Schwechater (1958), Arnulf Rainer (1960), and Unsere Afrikareise (1966)--most in 35-millimeter, a rare viewing opportunity. Also shown will be 11 films made between 1957 and 1983 by fellow Austrian avant-gardist Kurt Kren, who will be present. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Friday, March 18, 8:00, 443-3737.

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