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Category:    Home > Reviews > Classical Music > Experimental Film > John Cage One11 & 103 (Experimental film)

John Cage One11 & 103 (Experimental film)

 

Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: B- Films: C+

 

 

In 1992, John Cage attempted to make a film without a subject, going into an experimental project reminiscent of an Andy Warhol or Jean-Luc Godard. One11 (1992, with the 11 written as if squared) is ninety-minutes of abstract images that is a mixed bag. It can be interesting, but because of the music more than the actual images.

 

Whatever Cage intended, the result can be misinterpreted in a Kuleshov Effect (1918) which amounts to the combination of edited images causing viewers to project emotions and ideas into the film that is not there. Cage later attempted more films in the form of shorts collected in the DVD-Video release From Zero (2004, reviewed elsewhere on this site) and they were just as abstract.

 

Some deconstructionists will enjoy this as a sort of anti-Music Video or anti-Musical piece, but ultimately, the images are too abstract to be of much use except for Cage trying to express his feelings about his music in simple images, but the music is far more complex and this can never be the total success he wants it to be. Still, it is good music and an interesting project. Rewatchability is another issue.

 

The 1.33 X 1 full frame image is purposely muddy throughout and the black and white is newer monochrome film with less silver content, so Godard it aint. The sound is here in PCM 2.0 96/24 CD Stereo, as well as 5.0 Dolby Digital and DTS 5.0, all of which are good, but limited in surrounds and the absolute clarity we have heard in most such Mode releases. Extras include a making-of featurette and Van Carlson and Henning Lohner discussing the music piece, with optional subtitles.

 

 

- Nicholas Sheffo


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