French Experimental Cinema: the Figural and the Formless – Nicolas Rey’s Terminus for you (1996) and Pip Chodorov’s Charlemagne 2: Piltzer (2002)

In: Avant-Garde Film
Martine Beugnet
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Based on highly dissimilar filmmaking practices, Nicolas Rey and Pip Chodorov’s remarkable film works testify to one of the most fascinating shift in recent experimental filmmaking. Eschewing the conventional division of pure abstraction versus figuration, the shift is towards a cinema of the figural, where the pre-emptive rule of perspective is abandoned, so that the image and the sound allow for figure and ground to interact and ultimately merge. The chapter first sketches a brief outline of the historical background in order to put into context the analysis of the two films, then offers a close reading of these works and shows how both Terminus for you and Charlemagne 2: Piltzer draw on the traditions of abstract and figurative avant-garde film, but do so in order to explore the fluid borders between the figural and the “formless”.

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