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Close Up

Peter Gidal
1983
70mins Colour 16mm

Close Up

After 3 years this film; attempting yet again to deal with the problematizing of filmic representation in sound and image: the overt politically-polemical soundtrack from Nicaragua must not synchronise with nor must it find an entirely separable continuum of reality away from the image sequences.

Subjectivities of sound and image, sometimes producing contradiction (between the two, and within each) must be in constant process with/against the politcal polemic(s): the film cannot allow for a final exclusion of either. What is intended is neither some pure documentary reality nor some pure formal dialectic. The viewer's attempts via her/his/ the cultural context of meaning making (political/sexual/narrative) are worked against by this film's process (or should be).

The work against the capitalist patriarchal position of narrative, in other words, is (still, and in specificity) the main interest. - P.G. 1983/4.

In this context, Close Up is a provocative and potentially dangerous pulling together of two opposing aspects of film form - namely, a 'documentartist' soundtrack comprising interview material with Nicaraguan revolutionaries on the subject of art, propaganda and imperialism, and an image track of much beauty, veering toward the abstract as the camera moves ceaselessly over the objects in the a room, or those represented in the 17 blown up photographs.

Michael O'Pray, Monthly Film Bulletin Vol 51, Jan 1984.

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