Gregory J. Markopoulos
Theory: Time is a crystallization. A Universal particle: a particle in the long sentence which is the meaning of Man.
What men imagine is not unlike the risks of voyaging into the unknown. The dominant forces are Water and Air. Fire, itself, has for decades, if not for centuries, been smothered under the pretext of divine concerns.
We move in accelerated Time with our vision and movements reduced (probably retarded) before what we know as our time, and what we know through intuition or moments in science, of other more universal times.
The film image is a crystallization of Time; indeed, a crystallization in Time. One particle of Time contains trillions of imprisoned images, and all those foreign bodies which create the sense of the image itself.
The Content of a film image is like a magnificent, super terrestrial, chlorophyllic process (in constant Evolution) which creates, and at the same time preserves or imbues, enforces, a sense of human reality. A human reality, always incomprehensible. Incomprehensible because of the existence of the Gigantic Reality; with both Human Reality and the Gigantic Reality forever doomed in a state of Illusion as opposites.
In this state of the Illusion of opposites, the Human Reality retains its state only so long as it remains unresolved; and the Gigantic Reality forbids any communication with Human Reality, or Meaning itself, until the ultimate moment is achieved or revealed.
Part One: The Unsuspected Mode
The question must be asked: what does the filmmaker see? What does the film spectator see? What does the film projectionist see?
The filmmaker, if he is truly a filmmaker, looks at a film image on a table--a sparse table. He views by hand, using a small magnifying piece, a single frame, a film image. This constant instant of contact produces the undisturbed vision which becomes the meaning of the work. What is the meaning of the work? The Work Is The Meaning.
The smaller the image, the greater the final creation which the filmmaker completes. The larger the image, the lesser the final creation which the filmmaker completes. It is in the insignificant moment that significance becomes disturbed and the power of filmmaking is established.
For the filmmaker to refrain from viewing his film rolls as images in movement is to imbue them with a far greater and extraordinary Movement. It is, perhaps, a fallacy to continue to believe that film is constant movement. The movement must be separated and achieved by the filmmaker's craftsmanship in editing. This craftsmanship of editing is a reflection which mirrors the art of meaning. The materials to this greater end are less known in today's filmmaking than they were fifty years ago. The reasons for this are the same, always the same: commerce.
An inspiring voice says, "Look how pink the branches look through the green leaves!"
What we are dealing with is the use of the image, a single frame, as a measured element in the construction of films. Just as we cannot imagine the meaning of the universe, so, too, in viewing on a table a single film frame or groups of film frames, we cannot imagine what they actually contain. We see the single frame. We hold it this way and that way; upside down, right side up, reversed. All sides seen and unseen. From these we begin to construct the life course, the filmic form of the work at hand. Whether one succeeds or not depends as in all the arts upon the gift which is individual of the, in this case, filmmaker before the divided elements before him. It is a rare privilege for the filmmaker to create for the film spectator a whole from the divided parts before him. That is filmmaking; that is creation; that is always a divine inheritance, never achieved, never learned, but continuously sought. The learned, the achieved are the entertainers.
Who can dare to imagine what a single frame might contain? What future process could activate a single frame? What action could void its singular flatness and cause the necessary Collision? Could cause that collision which would animate the very contents of each, individual single frame?
One clue in many might be the emulsion; in the layers of emulsion which might magically yield the Essence they retain of an existence, heretofore unknown. Just as a cloud appears and then vanishes and is certainly a prediction undecipherable to human eyes; just as white caps on a rough lake begin and end their journey from a moment of calm through a tempest to a moment of calm, so, too, the inherent clue in activating a single frame.
There are always secret laws, but obvious secret laws: the light which records and photographs; the light which develops; and the light which projects. But a fourth light or source must exist which comprehends what the other three have merely appeared to capture and suspend. That is the issue. It could be speed. A speed measureable in Time itself; and, measureable in Time on an opposite scale; perhaps, in a retarded manner close to what we call the Invisible.
Robert Beavers has brilliantly suggested the invisible image between the frames which is seemingly never photographed; and that other invisible image between the film frames which is never projected. This is a basic clue of Revelation in Film. It is the reality of Dynamic Visual Thought not merely perceived but made visible. Add to this Content become the living thing; that is, again the sight of the Supreme Reality, what in the past was named a Vision, and one begins to realize that there is a secret path towards a dimension of film never before suspected.
Part Two: The Immeasureable Barrier
Until now, the film spectator has imagined that he was viewing a moving picture on the screen. However, the fact that the moving picture is never in actual movement has never been considered by the film spectator. This one immeasureable barrier has prevented the film spectator from understanding not only what the nature of film as film is, but has prevented him from understanding, also, the Nature of what he is constantly being subjected to by the various types of films which he views. If the spectator imagined at one time that it was entertainment that he was viewing, it was not entertainment; if the spectator imagined that it was propaganda that he was viewing, it was not propaganda; and, if today, the still unenlightened film spectator imagines that he is viewing the film as film he is sadly in error.
An inspiring voice says,"If one tried to collect a perfect audience for film it would barely fill the projection room of the cinematheque in Brussels."
If the film spectator has been told that the film consists of : (1) the silent classics, (2) the Hollywood classics, (3) the foreign film--depending on which country one is in, (4) the documentary film, (5) the educational film, (6) the industrial film, (7) the experimental film, the film student, today, is again told by the mediocre film agents who teach film, that the film consists of the political film. And from Munich to Salzburg; from Padova to Bologna to Taormina; from Oslo to Helsinki, the grossest perversions of the medium continue and will continue unabated in the name of film education. Of course, the films that are being used consistently, and have always been used from the earliest examples to be found in articles of Cahiers du Cinema, with its cycle of film subjects repeated every five to ten years (as any research into the publication will reveal), are the classic film become out of the cycles of commercial films, the directors or autoren films: the filmmakers! All else, the film as film, is absolutely dismissed.
Thus, it does not matter if one is an ignorant film spectator or an equally ignorant film student, the result is the same: a calculated ignorance for the noblest medium of our time, if not of all time. A medium as noble as sculpture was for the ancient Greeks; for film deals with man. Man is form. Film is Form. It is true one could imagine the world without film. But, on the other hand, one could not imagine the world without Form or even Man. Film is, thus, the Eternal Aspect of Life itself. It is the ennobling aspect that those who attempt to teach film never consider; would never consider to discuss, for the simple fact that they are dealers in Untruths; and, also because they fear the Titanic power of Inspiration and Freedom which such a revelation would unleash.
There is no possibility that the film spectator of the Temenos of the Twenty-First Century will appear in the next decade, the awesome decade of continued violence and world strife. But here and there, a film spectator Nascent will and Must follow a long and hazardous solitary ascent for many years in order to arrive in the vicinity of the Temenos of the Twenty-First Century. He may, in fact, never view a single film of the Temenos Catalogue, but he will Wish, will therefore Know what to reveal to him who has followed and is nearby. Both will be refreshed in the encounter of Film Understanding. One, The One, will find himself before the Space which will be for Beavers, for Markopoulos.
The Immeasureable Barrier is, then, the Act of Unlearning. It is the act of disarming the meddlesome imagery of false facts which have nothing in common with the film as film. Dismissed is the Art of Film! Dismissed is the Art of Vision! Dismissed is Film Culture! Dismissed is the Illusion itself!
Heralded is Reality. The approach to the Human Reality, and the acknowledgement of the Gigantic Reality. The awakened is truth: the truth which with Form and Content Becomes Evident in time with Time. The sense of Reality is unchained, the dream life, the dream of daily life is Dispersed.
There is no language. There is no art. There is no knowledge. There is
but film as film: the beginning and the eternal moment.