Glass System, The

Rental Format(s): 16mm film

THE GLASS SYSTEM, made from images shot in New York and Calcutta, looks at life as it is played out in the streets. Every corner turned reveals activities both simple and unfamiliar: a knife sharpener on a bicycle; a tiny tightrope walker; a man selling watches in front of a department store on Fifth Avenue; a hauntingly slow portrait of the darting eyes of schoolgirls on their way home; the uncompleted activities of a young contortionist. The sound in the film (which is from a Bengali primer written by British missionaries) is a meditation on how the English language teaches ideas about culture which are often incongruous. The disjunction between what you hear and what you see evokes reflections about the impact of globalization and the hegemony of Western-style capitalism. - Mark LaPore

A portrait primarily of Calcutta but by inclusion and inference some personal notion of "lost" New York - "a place which exists in a dream where life in the streets was both complicated and fleeting." The name derives from a private anecdote but it conjures up associations with Duchamp's The Large Glass in illustrating the complexities of competing or unseen gazes as they ricochet, superimpose and compress on a single vitreous, photochemical or temporal plane And as with Walter Ruttman (Berlin Symphony of A City) and Fritz Lang (M) the reflective store window and it's contents represent the convergence of unconscious desire, phantasmagoria and capital. With an insight that is courageous yet respectfully detached (moving in it's austerity) Lapore also explores some selective, inevitable trajectories of young girls within this Indian urban society and their vulnerability, composure, aptitudes and perils.- Mark McElhatten

Rental Fees

16mm film $80.00  

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