Pazar, Eylül 16, 2007

Joseph Cornell's "Rose Hobart" (1936)

Joseph Cornell has edited together a version of the film East of Borneo into an alternate reality, in which every shot consists of actress Rose Hobart or contains her gaze--looking at the water as it explodes into ripples, or at a volcano erupting. All other shots have been excised, imperfectly; one can imagine Cornell on his knees with the film spooled around him in knots, while he hastily clips away with scissors. The resulting product is then given a soundtrack of Nestor Amaral's record "Holiday in Brazil." It's suitably exotic, and sometimes fits the rhythm of the editing or the movements of Hobart. Several shots are repeated, so that we frequently find Hobart resuming a wary pose or retreating into a favorite dress. It's a strange reverie, and remarkable that it was made in 1936. The film is 17 minutes.

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