Hybridity, History and the End of Cinema

Leighton Pierce’s 50 Feet of String (1995) is an example of simply using what is around you and creating a different perception than what is normal. It teaches the viewer to look differently through the eyes of a child instead of an adult. It concentrates on the childhood time and motion. The film uses stop-motion and slow motion and moves into another space.  by changing the ordinary. The film focuses on listening to background noises, such as the lawn mower, truck passing in the back, and people having conversations. Sometimes images would be blurred in the background to accentuate other images, such as the boy cutting grass with scissors. This is done to show the importance of the boy’s childhood. The adult perspective is not important because he was blurred out when he was cutting the grass with a lawn mower. Sometimes the film would show film techniques of horror films, such as suspenseful scenes with the boy and a semi-truck and the audience believes the boy would get hit by the truck. Even though the boy never interacted with the truck and was fine, the audience is programmed to believe that he can become injured since the film is set up in that certain way.

In “The Western Edge: Oil of LA and the Machined Image”, Paul Arthur explains how Los Angeles’s culture is dominated by the entertainment industry, including experimental film, even though it would hid in the shadows of major mainstream film, television, and other forms of art. Arthur further explains how experimental films from the past such as Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon and how “it was under-acknowledged role in the evolution of avant-garde psychodramas in the forties” (pg. 94). In the mid-seventies, film became a important part of academia in Southern California in USC, UCLA, and CalArts. LA experimental film differs from the film technique such as the narrative fluidity. “O’Neill’s  work stems in part from the complexity of individual images, but it is also a consequence of their laconic, transient organization, re-presenting familiar objects as prone to mysterious incursions” (pg. 105).  Pat O’Neill’s films have the possibility to contradict the natural world and how things are perceived in relation to light, shape, and color. His films effect the natural orders of how things are perceived in normal films.

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