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Bridges-Go-Round dir. Shirley ClarkeBridges-Go-Round dir. Shirley Clarke
News
23 Oct 13
Short films by Shirley Clarke in the 4th American Film Festival program

The 4th American Film Festival will present short-length films by the hero of the festival’s retrospective, Shirley Clarke:

Dance in the Sun, 1953, 6’

Bridges-Go-Round, 1958, 7’

Skyscraper 1959, 21’

After the screening of Robert Frost… (23.10) and the screening of Rome Burning(26.10).

"Her first productions from the 1950s, filmed with her husband Bert as well as Willard Van Dyke - Dance in the Sun (1953), Moment in Love (1957), Skyscraper (1959) and Bridges-Go-Round (1958) – are poetic studies. Produced by request (at the Brussels World Fair), Bridges-Go-Round is a sort of study of screen choreography. The camera films one object from many points of view, creating an unconventional ballet. A varying, jazz rhythm, constant movement, multiple points of view – all of these elements provide the sensation of a dance. Two musical scores were written for this short film: an electronic soundtrack composed by Louis and Bebe Barron and a jazz score by Teo Macero. The combination of such different musical styles changes the film’s reception diametrically, creating a film that is at the same time a unique study of the relationship between sound and image.

Skyscraper, in turn, is an amusing documentary about one building – the Tishmann Building at 666 Fifth Avenue – produced from the point of view of one of its employees. Dizzying images in the soundtrack are accompanying by a beatnik poem, maintained in a jazz style, as well as songs and the voices of actors playing construction workers. In this short form, Clarke was able to transmit the fast rhythm and spirit of New York, while at the same time changing the schematic image of an industrial landscape. In Shirley Clarke’s first films we can see the distinct influence of the choreographic concept of cinema and the idea of poetic editing characteristic of the early work of Maya Deren, a precursor of American avant garde film. The artists met at the beginning of the 1950s when Clarke studied contemporary dance with choreographer Hanya Holm.”

(Urszula Tes, "Kino")

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4th edition archive website (year 2013).
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