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Berlin Horse  Wasser-@aol.com
 Apr 27, 2007 15:53 PDT 
The film "Berlin Horse"(1970), by Malcolm LeGrice. Now on YouTube.


The sound track may be the earliest solo recording by Brian Eno.   A
generative, minimalist classic. The shape of things to come...

"...Malcolm Le Grice’s multi-projection film Berlin Horse (1970) is a
perfect illustration of an artist’s film that goes beyond the convention of music
as illustrative of action and as secondary to image or narrative. By working in
collaboration with the musician Brian Eno, Le Grice produced a film in which
the actual filmmaking process is mirrored in the musical landscape. Unlike
conventional film, the music in Berlin Horse has the upper hand with two
looped images choreographed expertly to Eno’s looped score. The visual loops thus
parallel the musical loops with the result of a film, which “explores how the
eye works and how the mind builds up a perceptual rhythmic structure”. The
repetitive soundtrack of experimental loops does not have a mickey-mousing
effect on the image but on the contrary, the continuous movements of the horse’s
long leash and its continuous lunging out of the burning barn are determined
by the musical loops. Eno’s sound structures are therefore effective in
supporting the inner consistency of the piece as a whole. The completely
anti-narrative structure of the film is accentuated by the soundtrack’s imposing
presence. Talking about his experience in making Berlin Horse, Le Grice makes
very clear how important the concept of time and temporal space are in cinema
compared to in painting. He goes on to refer to the “consistent thread in the
conceptual approach to abstraction in film” as being an attempt to “establish
an analogy with music”. This has been both the attempt to apply musical
compositional concepts to film structure and to seek a parallel between colours
and musical notes. Le Grice cites examples of filmmakers who relate colour to
music in abstract cinema and concludes with alluding to his film Berlin Horse
as contributing to the artistic tradition of “chromatic music”. The fact
that the filmmaker himself is placing such great value on the role of music in
film, and particularly on its structural basis for film, really stresses the
importance of music in avant-garde film..." by Denice McMahon


Johnemr/New York City

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