Chromatic Articulation

  • Recent Films by Arthur and Corinne Cantrill (In Person)
  • Thursday, March 9, 8 pm
  • @ Cinecycle, 129 Spadina Ave.

Part of Winter 2000

Arthur and Corinne Cantrill return to Toronto to present a wide selection of their recent films, including optical printing and rotoscoping, 3-colour separation experiments, single-frame structuring, and filming of interior spaces. “Arthur and Corinne are the primal couple of Australia’s fringe film community. Their enormous body of work – more than two hundred films and counting – have taken on issues of autobiography, the Australian landscape, ethnography, their autistic son Ivor, their sponsorship of a Becak driver in Indonesia – as well as the qualities of a medium that they have embraced with all the tenderness of a lover. About to enter the fifth decade of their making, the Cantrill’s have shown little signs of slowing, continuing to publish the Cantrills Filmnotes, a glossy, full-colour mag devoted to fringe delicacies, energizing Melbourne’s burgeoning super 8 scene with screenings and performances, lobbying for the preservation of film art and recovering lost makers and history.” (Mike Hoolboom)


Myself When Fourteen (1989, colour, 19:00 min., optical sound)

A collaboration with Ivor Cantrill, son of the filmmakers. He rotoscoped two shots of himself running, filmed in Oklahoma in 1974 on high contrast black and white negative. The highly coloured rotoscoped footage was reworked on the optical printer, intermingling it with negative and positive of the original footage. On one level, it is an analysis of movement in found footage, and on another it is an investigation of the ways the human face is read and recognized. The sound is Ivor speaking about being fourteen, and commenting on the making of the film, with an electronic music composition by Chris Knowles. (Note: Ivor Cantrill has autism, and the film benefits from his preoccupation with repetition, detail and colour.)

Articulated Image (1996, 3:00 min., silent) A discontinuous frame-by-frame film of a banana palm lit by a decorative lead-light window, ‘articulated’ by black frames alternating with the image. (Enlarged from super 8 to 16mm)

Airey’s Inlet (1997, 6:00 min., colour, stereo sound on audio cassette)

A discontinuous frame-by-frame film (mainly two frames image/two frames black) of a coastal scene with a lighthouse, intercut with a painting of the same landscape by Ivor Cantrill. (super 8 enlarged to 16mm)

City of Chromatic Dissolution (1999, 17:00 min., 3-colour separation, stereo sound on audio cassette)

Melbourne cityscapes – the separation and superimposition of the three colours is evident in the pedestrian and motor traffic activity, and also in the moving clouds reflected in the mirror-facaded ‘invisible’ office buildings. The film is accompanied by layers of city sounds and glass played with a violin bow, electronically altered.

Ivor Paints Arf Arf (1998, 3-colour separation filmed on high-contrast b/w negative, 6:00 min., sound on audio cassette)

In the garden, Ivor Cantrill paints a group portrait of the Melbourne abstract sound poetry group, Arf Arf. A white canvas fills with colours and the faces of the group, looking more substantial than the artist who is rendered in transparent primary layers. The sounds are Arf Arf performing on an occasion when the artist participated with vocalisation and violin improvisation.

Garden of Chromatic Disturbance (1999, 15:00 min., 3-colour separation filmed on high-contrast black and white negative, stereo sound on audio cassette)

Does colour exist where there is no light? The garden as site for colour research – chromatic aberrations, measured against a Kodak colour card, play around repeated shots of brick walls, objects on a table, paintings and a female figure. As if the camera is recording colour in the absence of light, zones of the image readily incline to blackness, as shots are repeated with varying colour balances and densities. Stark black and white negative fragments from the original separations are intercut with the colour.

City of Chromatic Intensity (1999, 5:00 min., 3-colour separation filmed on high-contrast black and white negative, stereo sound on audio cassette)

Will colour exist when there is no-one left to see it? The high-contrast colour separation, which, unlike regular colour film, is not attempting to reproduce human colour perception, renders the city in stark, saturated hues, contrasting with deep shadow zones. Fragments of black and white negative indicate the source of the colour. The sound suggests audio relics of past demolitions, driving of massive foundations, the juggernaut of modern construction practice.

Ramayana/Legong (1995 5:36 min., colour, stereo sound on audio cassette)

A performance of traditional Balinese dance-drama filmed with time exposures on each frame, yielding magical traces of golden light from the dancers’ costumes. A serendipitous film made in the dark – there was no light to read the camera settings.

Jalan Raya – Ubud (1997, 17:00 min., colour, stereo sound on audio cassette)

One of a series made in Indonesia, it speaks of the impact on traditional life by tourism and heavy traffic. The narrow main street (Jalan Raya) of the cultural centre of Ubud is overwhelmed &lrquo;” close shots of traffic at different camera speeds are intercut with a view of the road from a café. (super 8 enlarged to 16mm).