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Blurt Roll 2

Anna Thew
1987
10 mins b/w & colour 16mm

Blurt Roll 2

a fast cut collage on the conflict and futility of words.

Black and white images of text and lettering and a thirties photo of French boxers, are intercut with colour superimpositions of lip-sticked mouths in close up and flashes of a movie-maker mimicking sound-synch speech, whilst a multi-lingual voice over in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Norwegian(?), rapidly recites from untranslated (all male) literary texts; Macchiavelli, Tzara, Brecht, Böll, Robbe-Grillet, Pirandello, da Vinci, Neruda, etc, in a frenzied collage underlining the frustration, futility and conflict of language. A Kabuki howl interjects as an Auschwitz inventory listing gypsies' belongings (the only thing in English), is heard above the cacophony.

"Blurt Roll 2, Anna Thew, is challenging in its refusal of language, the uselessness of words (Thew's notes) is under attack here as flash framed texts and still images are frantically cut to the artist's talking head speech patterns. It is a frenzied and questioning piece driven by an emotive frustration with the inability of language." Nik Houghton, 'Charting Time and Eye Music', Performance Magazine, Sept-Oct 1986

Voices and Kabuki howl - Anna Thew. Video - Martin Angel, Tina Keane. Film animation on Four Corners' copy stand - Anna Thew.

Video commissioned for Charting Time and Eye Music, an exhibition of artists' drawings and films at the Serpentine Gallery, 1986, and Hatton Gallery, Newcastle 1987.

Single screen 16mm made for Friends of Derek Jarman programme, Berlin Film Festival, Panorama, 1987, Richard Heslop, John Maybury, Kenny Morris, Anna Thew, Martine Thoquenne, curated by James Mackay.

"Anna Thew worked at high speed 'as automatically as possible' to produce the notes and drawings for her films; a method which generates a vast amount of material.. Additionally some characters and situations from the films are developed in drawings which are then worked on in much more detail. Some of the preliminary drawings, diaries, and paintings for Blurt were used in the early section of the finished film, but "the final notation is the work, since these notes are only what you are able to think up, what you think you can think, whereas the film is the result of how you were able to extend that thinking in practice" (AT). " David Curtis, Charting Time and Eye Music cata., Serpentine Gallery, 1986.

Info:
Two 16mm reels shown as twin screen 100ft loops in the original installation 'BLURT', were telecined for Charting Time and Eye Music, an exhibition of film, drawing and music scores at the Serpentine Gallery in 1986. Bursts of b/w and colour were cross cut on video in a way which is not possible to do on film, and combined with brief extracts from the thirty minute "talking head" language video made for the installation. The edited video, now a single screen, was then transferred by a new 'flying spot' laser system at Colour Film Services, back to 16mm negative.

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