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Nick WadleyClick here to Print this Page
Anne Rees Mogg
Then, one summer, she borrowed a 16mm camera, and found her medium for life.

Her first film was Nothing is something (1966), a simple silent 10 minutes, spent watching spectrums of colour on bubbles floating on a blue sky or expanding into a delicate crystalline structure, and then the moiré effects of petrol on moving water, and finally rainbow reflections from her collection of cut glass decanter stoppers. 'One thing follows another in all my films', she said once, 'like threading beads on a string'.

The film's aesthetic delights mirror her tastes for futurist painting, Balla especially, and for Victoriana, but as a genre of film-making, it didn't really satisfy her, 'too much like painting'. The only other film she made as a simple, pictorial demonstration like this was Muybridge Film (1975). A homage to one of her heroes, it is already more characteristic in its form as conjuring trick. She filmed a simple action, took it apart, shuffled its order and its speeds, and then re-projected it as a mime of its ancestor. But there is no magic about the trick in the sense that she spells out every step. It's both celebration and handbook.

A couple of other films that she made in the years between these two contained elements that were to become central to Anne's mature oeuvre: the autobiography; her self-conscious attention to the real time of film-making; her use of words.

One (1969), a 15 minute silent film, watches a solitary girl alone in the landscape, lying in the grass watching, climbing trees, pushing through dense undergrowth. The film is colour-coded. When we watch her, everything is a tinted-monochrome; when we watch what she is watching, the colour is natural. The tint was originally blue, I'm told, but has reddened with age, and now orchards and cornfields are dyed in a crimson monochrome redolent of (her own?) idyllic, lost childhood, melancholy in its solitude. The opening and closing motif is a solitaire board.

One, 1968-69
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