Found Masterpiece

Thanks to pioneering Bay Area film artists Bruce Conner and Craig Baldwin, as well as the less sophisticated wits behind the subtitled variations on Hitler’s Downfall rant found on YouTube, the concept and possibilities of found footage are familiar to all. By any previous measure, though, Gustav Deutsch’s feature-length Film Ist. a girl & a gun is a revelation. The Austrian filmmaker drills deep into the bedrock of cinema history, drawing on no less than 10 European film archives and the moving-image collection at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, to interweave the fundamental (read: carnal) relationship between men and women with the neo-Biblical, industrial-military theme of creation and destruction. Needless to say, this latest chapter in Deutsch’s ambitious Film Ist project reflects a depth of intellect and imagination light years beyond cut-and-paste montage. Tinted in a dozen colors and transferred to 35mm, Film Ist. a girl & a gun is a work of great beauty -- a veritable bounty for the eye, the loins, and gauzy, precious memory.
Thu., Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 27, 2 p.m., 2009

 
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