Untitled: Part One, 1981


Rental Format(s): 16mm

The film is a half-hour series of brief close-ups of people on the street, shot from a high, but still intimate, angle. In a constant interplay of figure and ground, the film shows fragments of feet, heads, hands and elbows against the backdrop of an ancient sidewalk .... The film is fast on the eye, with many staccato camera moves. But, partially because the people are bundled up in winter clothes, one experiences it as a succession of cushioned jolts - the collision of soft, bulky forces that enter the frame from all directions. There is, however, too much raw human interest in the footage for the film to ever become completely abstract.

"The film is set on a shopping street in a neighborhood heavily populated by elderly Eastern European immigrants - a sort of asphalt shtetl. Gehr's subjects use their hands a lot, and these expressive, vulnerable, fleshy sensors take on a life of their own. In one sense, the film is a jagged symphony composed of the most transitory gestures. "In another, the film is an exercise in Hals-like portraiture in which an entire character is evoked through isolated details ...."
- J. Hoberman, American Film

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16mm $116.00  

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