Hello Frameworkers. There have been a few really great
looking-for-this-type-of-film threads recently, so I thought I would
throw my query out there.


A colleague and I were discussing experimental films that were composed
to music. In general we think of film scores being added after the fact,
but there are few films that I can think of that are composed
specifically to fit a piece of music:



Studies for the Decay of the West (dir. Klaus Wyborny)

In Wyborny's "musical film," every new sound triggers a new image: 6,299
shots, all directly edited within his Super-8 camera. An intoxicating,
stroboscopic trip to industrial, natural and urban landscapes in East
Africa, New York, the Ruhr region and Rimini. This experimental music
film refers to Oswald Spengler's world-famous 1918 philosophical work
The Decay of the West. Culture pessimist Spengler argues that progress
is an illusion and that the modern era brings little good. People are no
longer able to understand the rationality of the world. Wyborny does not
set out to make a film version of Spengler's theories, but rather a
visual reflection on the modern age; a stroboscopic journey in five
parts to industrial, natural and urban landscapes. He uses 6,299 shots,
edited directly in a Super-8 camera. Each piano note and violin vibrato
evokes a new image: demolished buildings, rubble, destruction and
nature. This film forms a counterpart to Wyborny's previous films series
Eine andere Welt. Lieder der Erde II(2004/2005). [Film Society of
Lincoln Center]



Passage Through: A Ritual (dir. Stan Brakahge)

When I received the tape of Philip Corner's "Through the Mysterious
Barricade, Lumen 1 (after F. Couperin)," he included a note that thanked
me for my film, "The Riddle of Lumen," he'd just seen and which had in
some way inspired this music. I, in turn, was so moved by the tape he
sent I immediately asked his permission to "set it to film." It required
the most exacting editing process ever; and in the course of that work
it occurred to me that I'd originally made "The Riddle of Lumen" hoping
someone would make an "answering" film and entertain my visual riddle in
the manner of the riddling poets of yore. I most expected Hollis
Frampton (because of Zorn's "Lemma") to pick up the challenge; but he
never did. In some sense I think composer Corner has - and now we have
this dance of riddles as music and film combine to make "passage," in
every sense of the word, further possible. (To be absolutely "true to"
the ritual of this passage, the two reels of the film should be shown on
one projector, taking the normal amount of time, without rewinding reel
#1 or showing the finish and start leaders of either - especially
without changing the sound dials - between reels.) [Stan Brakhage, via



These are both films that use film to "play" music in a sense, or use
music to generate images or structures. While some filmmakers may have
used music in this way in a portion of a larger film, I'm more
interested in films that exclusively use this method, whether it is with
one complete piece or a few. Also, I'm trying to focus on films that
integrate music more deeply than just cutting on specific beats. 


Any ideas would be much appreciated! 


 Herb Shellenberger

Programs Office Manager



phone: 215.895.6575   |  fax: 215.895.6562

email: he...@ihphilly.org | web: www.ihousephilly.org



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