All entries for Phil Solomon

Phil Solomon’s American Falls

Sunday 23 October 2011, at 4pm, NFT3

‘Should anyone imagine that the art of alchemy died with the Middle Ages, Phil Solomon’s American Falls testifies to the contrary: both to the possibilities of photographic and digital transformation and to the magical emanations of their fusion.’ (Tony Pipolo, Artforum)

American Falls
Phil Solomon | USA 2010 | 60 min
In his sublime 16mm films, Phil Solomon chemically alters photographic imagery to create a thick celluloid impasto that infuses footage with profound emotional resonance. For American Falls, Solomon rifles through a collective memory fashioned from both fact and fiction, mixing elements from newsreels, actualities and narrative films in a monumental retelling of American history which draws parallels with and reflects upon the current state of the nation. Houdini, Harold Lloyd, Keaton and King Kong commingle with presidents, gold-diggers, railroad barons and the civil rights movement. ‘My project is ultimately one of great hope, stemming from a life-long love for this American experiment of ours … but it is also necessitated by my deepest concern for its present and future directions.’ Originally conceived as a 360-degree installation around the walls of the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s rotunda, the work has been reconfigured for the cinema as a panoramic view in triptych, with surround sound mix by composer Wrick Wolff.

What’s Out Tonight Is Lost
Phil Solomon | USA 1983 | 8min
‘The film began in response to an evaporating relationship, but gradually seeped outward to anticipate other imminent disappearing acts: youth, family, friends, time … I wanted the tonal shifts of the film’s surface to act as a barometer of the changes in the emotional weather.’ (PS)
Preserved by the Academy Film Archive, Los Angeles.

Mark Webber

Also screening:
Tuesday 25 October 2011, at 4pm, NFT3

Phil Solomon will present screenings of his earlier films at Tate Modern on 24 & 27 October.

Feel Flows: The Films of Phil Solomon

Feel Flows: The Films of Phil Solomon
London Tate Modern, 24 & 27 October 2011

On his first visit to the UK, Phil Solomon presents two programmes of his alchemical film work. By treating the celluloid surface with a variety of substances and techniques, Solomon transforms images to construct an emotionally charged and deeply affecting cinema. Often elegiac in tone, his symphonic approach makes the personal profound.

This survey of Solomon’s 16mm films also features Rehearsals for Retirement, a machinima work from the digital series In Memoriam (for Mark LaPore), made with imagery drawn from the Grant Theft Auto videogames. Programme two includes Seasons…, a collaboration with Solomon’s colleague, friend and mentor Stan Brakhage.

“Although part of a long avant-garde tradition, Solomon makes films that look like no others I’ve seen. The conceit of the filmmaker as auteur has rarely been more appropriate or defensible – the liberating effect of Solomon’s work suggests a rather different realm: Film Meets Vision, Rejoice!” (Manohla Dargis, New York Times)

Feel Flows: The Films of Phil Solomon: Programme One

Feel Flows: The Films of Phil Solomon: Programme Two

Curated by Mark Webber and presented in association with The 55th BFI London Film Festival. Solomon will premiere American Falls at BFI Southbank on Sunday 23 October.


Phil Solomon: Programme 1

Phil Solomon: Programme 1
London Tate Modern, Monday 24 October 2011, at 7pm

Phil Solomon, The Exquisite Hour
1989/94, 16mm, colour, sound, 14 min

“… Partly a lullaby for the dying, partly a lament of the death of cinema … [it] is dedicated to the memory of my grandparents, Albert Solomon, who was a projectionist for Fox, and Rose Solomon, who took tickets at Lowe’s Paradise in the Bronx.” (Phil Solomon)

Phil Solomon, The Snowman
1995, 16mm, colour, sound, 8 min

“A meditation on memory, burial and decay – a belated kaddish for my father.” (Phil Solomon)

Phil Solomon, Clepsydra
1992, 16mm, b/w, silent, 15 min

“Solomon has evolved his technique so that in his latest work (‘Clepsydra’ – ‘waterclock’) the textures are constantly changing and are often appropriate to each figure in metaphoric interplay with each figure’s gestural (symbolic) movement. He has, thus, created consonance with thought as destroyer/creator – a Kali-like aesthetic ‘There is a light at the end of the tunnel’ (Romantic); and it is a train coming straight at us: … (and, to balance such, perhaps, with a touch of Zen) … it is beautiful!” (Stan Brakhage)

Phil Solomon, Psalm III: “Night of the Meek”
2002, 16mm, b/w, sound, 23 min

“It is Berlin, November 9, 1938, and, as the night air is shattered throughout the city, the Rabbi of Prague is summoned from a dark slumber, called upon once again to invoke the magic letters from the Great Book that will bring his creature made from earth back to life, in the hour of need. A kindertodenliede in black and silver on a night of gods and monsters.” (Phil Solomon)

Phil Solomon, Rehearsals for Retirement
2007, video, colour, sound, 10 min

“Had I known the end would end in laughter / I tell my daughter it doesn’t matter.” (Phil Ochs)

Phil Solomon: Programme 2

Phil Solomon: Programme 2
London Tate Modern, Thursday 27 October 2011, at 7pm

Phil Solomon, What’s Out Tonight Is Lost
1983, 16mm, colour, silent, 8 min

“Adopting its title from a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, What’s Out Tonight Is Lost is an elegiac film sifting through the unrecoverable. The film is a reflecting pool where vision breaks up. The home we recognize is swallowed in the brume, the light barely penetrates; and the yellow school bus steals us away, delivering us into new clouds, embracing fear. The film has a surface of cracked porcelain and intaglio: the allergic childhood skin of cracks and bruises. This is a film of transubstantiations, the discorporation of human forms into embers. Air looms and blossoms into solidity and nearness … I hear it breathing …” (Mark McElhatten)

Phil Solomon, Psalm I: “The Lateness of the Hour”
2001, 16mm, colour, sound, 10 min

“A little Nachtmusik, a deep blue overture to the series. Breathing in the cool night airs, breathing out a children’s song; then whispering a prayer for a night of easeful sleep. My blue attempt at a sequel to Rose Hobart.” (Phil Solomon)

Phil Solomon, Nocturne
1980, 16mm, b/w, silent, 10 min

“Its setting is a suburban neighbourhood populated by kids at play and indistinct but ominous parental figures. A submerged narrative rehearses a type of young boy’s night-time game in which a flashlight is wielded in a darkened room to produce effects of aerial combat and bombardment. A sense of hostility tinged with terror seeps into commonplace movements … Fantasy merges with nightmare, a war of dimly suppressed emotions rages beneath a veneer of household calm … In Nocturne, found footage is worked so subtly into the fabric of threat that its comes as a shock ploughed from the unconscious.” (Paul Arthur)

Phil Solomon & Stan Brakhage, Seasons…
2002, 16mm, colour, silent, 15 min

“Brakhage’s frame by frame hand carvings and etchings directly into the film emulsion, sometimes combined with paint, are illuminated by Solomon’s optical printing, then edited by Solomon into a four part seasonal cycle‚. This film can be considered to be part of a larger work by Brakhage entitled “”. Seasons… is inspired by the colours and textures found in the woodcuts of Hokusai and Hiroshige, and the playful sense of forms dancing in space from the filmworks of Robert Breer and Len Lye.” (Phil Solomon)

Phil Solomon, Remains to Be Seen
1989/94, 16mm, colour, sound, 17 min

“In the melancholic Remains to Be Seen, dedicated to the memory of Solomon’s mother, the scratchy rhythm of a respirator intones menace. The film, optically crisscrossed with tiny eggshell cracks, often seems on the verge of shattering. The passage from life into death is chartered by fugitive images: pans of an operating room, an old home movie of a picnic, a bicyclist in vague outline against burnt orange and blue … Solomon measures emotions with images that seem stolen from a family album of collective memory.” (Manohla Dargis, Village Voice)

Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved.

RSS Feed. Powered by Wordpress. Based on Modern Clix, a theme by Rodrigo Galindez.