John Cage – One11 &
103 (Experimental film)
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
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 ain’t. 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