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Portrait of a Young Man - Henwar Rodakiewicz


Rental Format(s): Digital File

Maker: Henwar Rodakiewicz
Original Format: 16mm silent film 1.37:1 at 16fps.
Intentionally silent

Portrait of a Young Man' is a 16mm film in three movements shot between 1925 and 1931. Rodakiewicz considered adding sound to the film but decided that musical accompaniment would only be saying the same thing twice. Shooting sporadic over six years. Locations relevant only to what happened to be seen there. For almost entire period, no plan for continuity of a structured film. Motivation entirely to capture keen experiences no matter what the subject matter. A constant winnowing for the significant detail. Eventually thought occurred that the footage revealed the person. Film accordingly so titled and edited.

It was an integrated collection of the many things that appealed to me as visually expressing thoughts and feelings going on within me. Its subject matter ranged from cigarette smoke, machinery, leaves, clouds, water (especially the sea) -- but contained no people. The job of editing this material was done purely on a basis of feeling for the proper continuity -- a manner I still employ today. -Henwar Rodakiewicz

[He] has such beautiful material - If he could put it together so that the large unit would be as fine as much of the details - by that I mean single shots -it would be good stuff - You would certainly do wonderful things with it - Of course he is young - but even the young should be able to do it - Too bad he can't be with you some"he has such fine material. -Georgia O'Keeffe to Alfred Stieglitz 1931

Actual photography was surpassingly beautiful.... There were wonderful abstract shots of clouds rolling, slowed-up waves crashing darkly on a beach as if controlled by some slower Lunar law, smoke rising in translucent plumes, palms rustling, but most of all the sea-sheets of water spread over black rocks, or whirling in jeweled spume or folding in on its even whiteness. -Lincoln Kirstein, Arts Weekly 1932

Henwar Rodakiewicz (1903-1976), from the mid-1920s when he made Portrait of a Young Man until his innovative experiments in TV documentary, remained in the forefront of independent American filmmaking. As a writer, editor, and director, he was celebrated for exploiting the beauty inherent in his material and for his uncompromising honesty. -Irving Jacoby

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Digital File $150.00  

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