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Under The Freeway

Guy Sherwin
16mins colour sound 16mm
see also After the Freeway 2006

Under The Freeway

Street-life at a busy intersection beneath a freeway in San Francisco. An urban landscape film with an underlying formal structure.

Under the Freeway results from a trip Sherwin made to San Francisco during 1995. The space of the film is a public one; an intersection of streets in a poor neighbourhood, dominated by the overhead freeway of the title. The camera is static, although not confined to a single viewpoint, and this elicits a quiet attention from the viewer.

Under the Freeway presents us with urban life at the sharp end, its on-the-street detail unseen by those rushing by overhead. Under the freeway life proceeds at a different pace - in its examination of the cityscape the film offers space and time to observe city life, one's sense of closeness to, or distance from the reality represented controlled in part by the coming and going of the sound. The framing offers continually interesting compositions in deep space as well as an evolving sense of the film's complex urban location. It is tempting to see, in the pace of the shots and the pace of the actions filmed, a critique of both life in the world of the freeway, and of its customary film or television representation.
Nick Collins. Notes for an Arts Council screening, Tate Gallery 1997

FREEWAY SERIES (works in progress). beginning with Under the Freeway 1995 this is a group of films, some of which use multiple projection formats, set around Freeway 101 in San Francisco.

AFTER THER FREEWAY incorporates film shot in 1997 after the freeway had been partly demolished. For 2 or more screens.

BAY BRIDGE FROM EMBARCADERO uses 3 screens for cinema projection or gallery installation (2004).

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