27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
director: Shirley Clarke
original title: Brussels Loops
country: United States
running time: 58 min.
synopsisA collection of silent shorts was designated for the US pavilion at the 1958 Brussels Worldʼs Fair. The film sequences were screened in the pavilion in a neverending loop. The story and characters were not important, what was of significance was showing moments from the everyday life of Americans. The film programme was to showcase the best of the US: modern metropolises, happy nuclear families, miracles of technology, full shelves in supermarkets. With a dynamic montage and distinct aesthetics the director managed to create a film collage that is reminiscent of the avant-garde experiments.
“They were to be little bits of Americana. While I did the filming in and around NewYork City and the editing, Donn Pennebaker traveled around the United States collecting images that he sent back to me. We made about 30 loops. Penny made some, I made some, and Ricky Leacock and Wheaton Galentine each made one. I came up with a lot of rhythmic editing in order to get these three minute loops to work. I had to get a lot of information into 100 feet of film. Those loops were a big hit at the fair.” — Shirley Clarke
biographyShirley Clarke (1919–1997) was an American director and university teacher, initially a dancer and a choreographer. In the 1950s she made short films and later she directed various documentaries and feature films. She was active in the feminist movement and her work is often included in the New American Cinema.
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