John Smith (1952, UK)

The Girl Chewing Gum
(1976)  12 mins. B/W. Sound. 16mm.
ひさびさにドキュンときました。今まで知らなかったというのが驚きのビデオアーティストジョンスミス。とくにこの映像はすばらしい。人が行き交うロンドンの町並みの映像、なんだけど、後付けのナレーションが、行き交う人や車の動きを映画監督のように指示を出すから、笑ってしまいます。雑多な映像に呼応させた音の使い方がかなりうまい!最近の作品Worst Case Scenarioもとても良いです
“In The Girl Chewing Gum a commanding voice over appears to direct the action in a busy London street.  As the instructions become more absurd and fantasised, we realise that the supposed director (not the shot) is fictional; he only describes – not prescribes – the events that take place before him.  Smith embraced the ‘spectre of narrative’ (suppressed by structural film), to play word against picture and chance against order. Sharp and direct, the film anticipates the more elaborate scenarios to come; witty, many-layered, punning, but also seriously and poetically haunted by drama’s ineradicable ghost.”    A.L. Rees, ‘A Directory of British Film & Video Artists’ 1995
“The films of John Smith create a world from the ‘simple’ experiences of living, breathing and being a filmmaker or artist in a particular place and time. Smith’s often humorous films produced over the last 30 years have inventively documented and probed his immediate surroundings, often not even moving much beyond the front door of his various abodes in a small area of East London. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to describe Smith’s films as overly delicate, preciously insular or purely personal – assignations that the previous description might suggest – as his work sees within the minutiae of familiar surroundings a range of philosophical, aesthetic, technical and quotidian challenges and revelations that extend far beyond the realm of much other comparable cinema. In film after film, Smith explores the cracks within and the tribulations of the world he confronts everyday, taking a closer look at and often transforming (verbally, associatively, just by observing from a different angle) things like a pane of glass, the discolorations of a mouldy ceiling, a hospital water-tower, the archaeology of an ancient toilet, an old shepherd’s proverb, or a work he was unhappy with some 20 odd years before. In the process, he makes us look more closely, not just at his films and the cinema generally, but our own surroundings, the everyday world that engulfs us but that we probably routinely dismiss as a suitable subject for contemplation, art and imagination.”
From ‘On the Street where You Live: The Films of John Smith’ by Adrian Danks, Senses of Cinema, 2003

25. September 2010 by Nishiko
Categories: Nishiko, UK, Video | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. あーーっ!

  2. なおしましたー!きづいてくれるといいけど。。

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