• Tuesday, Aug 4, 1987

Four Shadows and Mnemosyne, Mother of Muses

"Part of the pleasure of viewing Larry Gottheim's films lies in discovering their formal structure, the pattern he has chosen to organize sound and image. And, as his patterning principle becomes clear, the pleasures multiply: the anticipation of its logical carry-through, the satisfaction of repetitions and the discovery of patterns within patterns, the effort of recalling and identifying sources (natural and cultural). But also, as disparate elements are brought together, an increased awareness of the associative power and potential of sound/image relationships, indeed, of the cinema." Kathy Geritz Four Shadows (1978, 64 mins, Color): Larry Gottheim describes Four Shadows, the third film in his four-part series, Elective Affinities: "Of course I was increasingly aware of the meaning-implications of the procedures I was following with this material, developing thoughts around issues of 'romanticism', nature, desire and guilt, language, etc...all finally hovering around the idea of freedom. In spite of the tendency for certain meanings and feeling to coalesce at certain points in the film, I am very pleased at how open the film remains, continuing to lead me on." Mnemosyne, Mother of Muses (1986, 18 mins, Color): "Finally a body of rapidly changing material, so emotionally resonant for me, seemed to hold out universal cinematic possibilities. The title, recalled from a passage of Heidegger, released a form that allowed compositional play while the implications of the form itself led one further into issues such as thought as reflection, and the relationship of the machine (with its motifs of repetition and reversibility) to landscape and human existence. The film was completed as a silent visual work to which a further stage of composition superimposed the sound elements (including Toscanini rehearsing Die Walküre, the diner scene in Siodmak's film The Killers, Keaton, Bartok...)" Larry Gottheim

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