Postscript: the film is now available on Vimeo:
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Surfacing on the Thames
The Canadian experimental filmmaker and photographer David Rimmer made his name with works relating to the contemplation of landscape, most obviously Landscape (1969), which compressed compresses 15 hours of footage into eight minutes of sea, mountains, and sky, but also Surfacing on the Thames (1970), Seashore (1971), Canadian Pacific (1974) and others. Surfacing on the Thames has been described by Donald Richie as ‘a beautiful, mysterious yet satisfying optical illusion…celebrates the early passing of a steam on the
Thames. Using freeze-frame techniques, elaborate dissolves, and most of the resources on the optical table, this picture is, amongst other things, a Turner come to life. Rimmer’s concern with the surface nature of the film is most evident in this work which, in spite of its filmic complexity, is incredibly simple.’ In his essay ‘David Rimmer: A Critical Analysis’, Al Razutis writes that ‘Surfacing presented the viewer with a completely unique view of what a cine-landscape could be.’ Happily, Surfacing the Thames (1970) can be downloaded from Ubuweb... but sadly the AVI file doesn’t seem to work on my PC (no picture), so I would be interested to know if anyone else can view it.