Cécile Fontaine
Commented Filmography

Super 8 movies made in Boston between 1982 and 1986
Traditional Montage
MOUVEMENT NUMÉRO 1 (danseurs et mariage) – MOUVEMENT NUMÉRO 2 (train et statue) – MOUVEMENT NUMÉRO 3 (TV crew et neige rouge)
I consider my first movies small tests, experiments. At first I took my camera in my bag every day, and so I filmed numerous super 8 reels without thinking too much, colleting images that later I would use during my first tests of montage. In my first movies you can see that I have never left a reel untouched, and that they are the result of a rather exhaustive assembly of pieces extracted from different reels, the same sources can be used in several films (as in Mouvement 1, 2 and 3).

Non-traditional montage; Transfer and emulsion collage (1984-86)
One day, I saw in Vertov’s Man with a movie camera a woman cutting a movie with big scissors. This, or so, gave me the idea to use them to cut the film in a different way than the splicer, which cuts through the line of the frame. I then cut diagonally, and at the same time, two films of trees that I had filmed, and then I reconstructed the film strip replacing the images on the right of the diagonal cut of the first film by the ones of the second one and vice versa. Therefore, you are do not have to use the splicer – because the splicer is a limit. It happens the same with the camera and the lens; without the lens, you can do something else.

A movie combining segments mechanically recorded by the camera and manually produced segments with instruments outside the kinematic domains and taken from other visual arts (engraving, painting, collage). The film is composed of a long sequence of overexposed self-portrait taken through a reflecting and deforming crystal, and intersected by several independent sections that are like sketches. The experiment aims to show the physical and cinematographic characteristics of the film, regardless of the conventions of the medium, through incision, tear, burn, perforation, collage, painting and engraving. These procedures, discovered by accident and voluntarily repeated during the handling and montage of the film, play with the great flexibility of the non-precut adhesive tape splicer, which allows the film to be rebuilt back to its original state after being separated in two longitudinally, or overlapping pieces of film, or gluing external elements (such as colored plastics) to create particular effects.

A movie entirely bleached and then manipulated by adding -on the new surface- colored plastic pieces (red and blue), emulsion pieces removed from the surface of another film; overlapping other film elements (35mm slides) cut in super 8 format, or segments of underexposed and striped films to reveal the layers of color that make up the film. All these techniques aim to recreate the color palette and textures of the painting using only the physical elements of the film.

A movie entirely bleached and then manipulated by adding parts of words, printed images and pieces of film images removed from their plastic strip. The game of vertical movements (produced by discoloration) and horizontal (created while shooting) accelerates the timing of the film and reveals the physical continuity instead of offering us the illusion of a normal movement by means of the shooting at a rate of 18 frames per second (by vertical movement); the horizontal movement counteracts this directionality from the bottom up.
The non-uniform discoloration of the ektachrome film partially reveals its chemical composition (the first in its pure, yellow form, the second in its compound, green form due to the blending of blue and yellow, the third layer, magenta, disappears when contancting bleach). The absence of history and the absence of sound respond to my personal conception of the film as a transparent object that filters the light of the projector creating motifs and colors to be seen as moving plastic objects, without any precise reference to the real world, but to the physical reality of the film itself.

Transfer Montage
SANS TITRE, MAI 1988 (1988)
This film consists of home movies filmed by my father in the sixties, except the communion and the building collapse. These images were erased irregularly using bleach, and then embedded by sticking fragments of emulsion removed from different sequences, thus leading -in the final montage- to a slow parade (sometimes literally represented), and to a transformation towards destruction and death. We thus go from a virgin nature to a nature plundered by man. The same happens with human beings: from communicants to old war veterans, from birth to annihilation. A show for passive extras.

This movie, like the rest of my films in 16mm, has been composed of multiple sequences of found footage or films given by friends who know my way to “build” films radically transforming their appearance (texture, color, content), chemically and manually. Images from all kinds of sources (documentaries, fiction, publicity, news, family films, amateur films) are re-elaborated removing or partially erasing the emulsion, which is then moved and (or) reconstructed using adhesive tape, without using the optical printer. Silver Rush, following that process, is a real stampede of sequences composed of rushes from various sources (fiction, documentary, publicity), representations of hunts of all kinds, in the mythical scenery of the American western.

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