Academic journal article Afterimage

A Hollis Frampton Odyssey

Academic journal article Afterimage

A Hollis Frampton Odyssey

Article excerpt

CRITERION/2012/266 MINS./$29.95 (TWO-DISC SET); $39.95 (BLU-RAY)

Hollis Frampton's filmmaking is among the most singular of the American avant-garde. This is not surprising, considering that Frampton was something of' a polymath and his varied interests (which included mathematics, physics, art history and theory, photography, linguistics, Greek, Latin, and the poetry of Ezra Pound) all found their way into his films. Often cited as a "structuralist" filmmaker, he was in fact less concerned with the materialist qualities and medium specificity of film, and more with the structures and systems cinema allowed him to explore. But, as this valuable new collection of twenty-four of his films illustrates, there was also considerable diversity and complexity in his filmmaking practice.

Frampton's first experimental film, Zorn.s. Lemma (1970), utilizes an alphabetical structure, as words found in the environment (on signs, advertising, etc.) are systematically replaced by images--all of which are contained within a set visual and temporal matrix. Possibly his best-known film, (nostalgia) (1971) presents a series of photographs slowly being burned on a hotplate. Narration accompanies each, but it is out of synch, describing the next photograph that will be seen, creating a game of memory for viewers as they try to recall what has already been seen. …

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