utorak, 4. lipnja 2013.

Piotr Kamler - Chronopolis (1983)


Animirani apstraktni sf. Besmrtnici nalik faraonima ubijaju monotoniju stvarajući vrijeme, predstavljeno enigmatičnim bijelim kuglama.

cijeli film je na UbuWebu: http://www.ubu.com/film/kamler_chronopolis.html

još na UbuWebu:

Le labyrinthe (1969), Music: Bernard Parmegiani

Coeur de secours (1973), Music: Francois Bayle

Une mission ephemere (1993), Music: Bernard Parmegiani

Another gem at Ubuweb, and nothing to do with JG Ballard’s SF story of the same name, Piotr Kamler’s Chronopolis (1983) is a 50-minute animated science fiction film, albeit science fiction of a much more abstract variety than one usually finds in cinema. I’m generally exasperated by the way film and TV SF does little more than play Cowboys & Indians in space so it’s refreshing to see something that’s unashamedly strange and doesn’t feel the need to explain itself. There is apparently a version of this with some English narration for those benighted American audiences everyone feels a need to pander to but the Ubuweb version is wordless, and if you can’t read French then you won’t understand the few lines of text prologue at the opening.
Accompanying Kamler’s beautifully crafted and quite inexplicable scenes there’s an electronic score by composer Luc Ferrari, mostly analogue timbres whose origin is as mysterious as the events taking place on-screen. Kamler’s statuesque figures remind me of the gods and aliens that Moebius and co. were drawing in Metal Hurlant during the 1970s. Chronopolis was a French production begun in 1977 so it’s possible that French comics were an influence. Moebius himself worked on another animated SF film during this period, René Laloux’s Time Masters (1982). Chronopolis is closer in tone to the weirdness of Laloux’s earlier Fantastic Planet (1973), and all the better for it. www.johncoulthart.com/



DVD : PIOTR KAMLER - A la recherche du temps

Piotr Kamler was born in Warsaw in 1936. He is a graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Art. In 1959 he went to Paris to continue his art studies. it was there that he came into contact with Research Department at ORTF( directed by Pierre Schaeffer) and began to collaborate with “concrete” musicians such as Xenakis on experimental shorts( musical abstract films and “fables”). The ORTF Research Department which was later taken over by INA, was a hothouse for talent, enabling diverse artists such as Peter Foldes, Robert Lapoujade , Jacques Espagne, Jacques Rouxel, Andre Martin and Michel Boschet, Jacques Colombat, Jean-Francois Laguionie, Henry Lacam and Kamler to carry out a large number of bold and innovative personal projects.
With astonishing regularity, Kamler came up with no less than 8 unusual short films between 1962 and 1973. The films themselves were incorrectly described as science fiction-in fact they were much closer to the universe of Borges than to Space Opera. Kamler, who created strange, improbable but plausible world, began to explore a whole range of different visual techniques. Le Trou (1968), Araignelephant (1968), Delicieuse Catastrophe(1971), Coeur de secours (1973) all won awards at major film festivals (Cracow, New York, Mamaiea , Melbourne … ). After Le Pas (Grand prix at Annecy 1975) Kamler went underground for a while until he resurfaced with the full-length feature Chronopolis (1982).

Chronopolis made in 1982 by Piotr Kamler is a fabulous city lost in space where strange pharaoh-like immortals kill the monotony of their deathless state by fabricating time, represented by enigmatic, morphing white balls.
 Kamler's animated cinema suggests a singular variety of science fiction; it was he who provided the original idea for the Shadoks TV series. Completely unalike to more conventionally linear and text-based narratives, Kamler's films instead explore a series of dynamic visual motifs. Typically, the conclusion of these films is less suggestive of resolution, than it is of recurring episode. What is most striking in all his films is the variety of visual invention that Kamler brings to each work - he is as assured working with clay (as in his feature, Chronopolis) as he is with ink and paper, or even animating digitally on computer (in the most recent work in this program, Une mission ephemere). These visual flourishes embellish some of the most amazing animated films ever made - an achievement which won his Le Pas the Grand Prix of the 1975 Annecy Animation Festival. - timelostimeregained.blogspot.com/

Piotr Kamler – Une Mission Ephémère

It’s all about robots and sugar cubes this afternoon. A crunchy animation with a ’60s space age feel, Une Mission Ephémère was crafted in 1993 by Polish animator Piotr Kamler and scored by experimental/musique concrète composer Bernard Parmegiani. The best part of this clip is watching the way the robot’s facial expressions change as he sculpts playthings and conducts experiments while floating in his little bowl. More clips by Kamler – including Chronopolis, which was his first and only full-length feature – can be found at UbuWeb. Chronopolis and Kamler’s work is often characterized as “science fiction,” but have more in common with Borges than with Star Wars, as one excellent write-up on Kamler notes. [Another hat-tip to Wobbly.] - coilhouse.net/

Between Process and Desire – 5 Films by Piotr Kamler   

Beginning in the 1960s, Polish-born animator Piotr Kamler created 10 films combining techniques of animation, stop-motion, and early CGI.  His work utilizes simplicity and repetition to explore process and abstraction.  His methods are akin to the combination of musique concrète and sound synthesis techniques employed by the acousmatic composers he collaborated with.
There is a DVD compiling his work, but it is apparently hard to come by.
Le Pas (1975)
music by Bernard Parmegiani
In which a cube transforms, with some difficulty, into an identical cube in a slightly different location.  Le Pas explores process and repetition through the movements of simple objects in an austere, infinite landscape reminiscent of many surrealist paintings.  Kamler’s delicate animation of geometry anthopomorphizes the objects, implying meanings that apply to our human world.  (I will never again doubt the erotic potential of 2 animated squares.)  As with most of his films, he displays his impeccable taste by working with a master – this time, electronic composer Bernard Parmegiani.

Une Mission Ephemere (1993)
music by Bernard Parmegiani
This is Kamler’s final work, and appears to combine stop-motion animation with computer animation.  For me, this film seems to be about the inner workings of a mind.  From a bowl of undifferentiated cubes (the mind) a figure (“I”) emerges, manipulates the cubes (concepts, memories, etc) in an act of creation, and ultimately is subsumed back into the whole.  Like Le Pas, Une Mission Ephemere ends as it began, implying that we have witnessed one repetition of an infinite process.

Chronopolis (1982)
music by Luc Ferrari
This hour-long work is by far Kamler’s most ambitious, and took about 5 years to complete.  The film was released on VHS (and, as of this writing, Amazon shows a used copy in stock at $66).  Chronopolis seems to be a city in the sky where supernatural beings manipulate white spheres into complex objects.  This is perhaps the most abstract science fiction film that I know of.  Luc Ferrari was a masterful musique concrete composer and his score is, unsurprisingly, fascinating. 

l’Araignelephant (1968)
music by Bernard Parmegiani
I don’t speak Polish, so all I can tell you is that this relates the adventures of an octapedal elephant in Bizarroland.  Along the way, he cheats his way through a maze, discovers that a detached scrotum can be replaced by a quick tap of the trunk, goes on a magic amoeba ride, grows a new set of legs, and finds true love.  This work has a blackboard look which is different from his other films.  Parmegiani’s sound design is beautiful.

Coeur de Secours (1973)
music by Francois Bayle
Visually, this one brings to mind Edward Gorey as well as shadow puppet plays.  The opening suggests that Kamler is exploring the nature of time here, and indeed it’s difficult to imagine anyone better suited to do so than a stop-motion animator.  Note the interesting recursive scalar relationship wherein the men playing chess are themselves inside of a rook on a larger chessboard.  Once again, Kamler works with a genius of electronic music from GRM – this time, composer Francois Bayle.

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