Lines of Perspective (for those who don’t have the time)

Published Nov. 27th, 2013

Lines of Perspective

Perspective – or “the concept of perspective” as I have begun to refer to it lately – has been a beacon for many experimental filmmaker and their cinematic investigations.

It may be the fundamental ability of motion film and video in particular to capture space, multiplied through motion and divided by time. Or it may be that the fundamental rule of perspective becomes so shockingly malleable when implemented into one’s artistic practice.

The films of Takashi Ito – so abrasive and alienating yet beautiful – are commonly experiments with changing of perspective. As his camera moves through space we can see a manipulation of perspective. One may guess that his inspiration came in part from his teacher Toshio Matsumoto whose film ĀTMAN (1975) is also a precise survey of perspective.

Then you have Al Jarnow, the New York-based filmmaker whose animated investigations of shapes and space somehow bridged the gap between the avant-garde and Sesame Street. His masterpiece, Celestial Navigations is a portrait of celestial perspective in which Jarnow tracks the sunlight as it migrates across his studio wall for the course of an entire year.

And who can forget Len Lye’s Free Radicals, the film in which Lye scratch animates abstract lines as if they were slowly rotating in perspective.

Myself and Rhayne Vermette recently curated a program for Open City Cinema that compiles these classic examples of perspective in experimental cinema. With it we did an open call, and we found that perspective is still going strong in underground cinema.

I saw Naren Wilks’ Bridge Study at The 8 Fest in 2012 and found it utterly hypnotizing in it’s precision, much like Takashi Ito’s films. Also reminiscent of Ito, is Maxime Corbeil-Perron’s illuminated opus Ghostly in which the filmmaker experiments with open-exposure photography, light painting, and other techniques favourited by Ito.

In contrast, Alexander Stewart’s Iceland Spar is an investigation of cubic movement and is a great contemporary companion film to Al Jarnow’s Cubits.

One artist that fit perfectly into our program was Jane Cassidy, who has a number of experiments with perspective in projection. Her film Square Ball was perhaps the only film in the program to investigate the “vanishing point”.

Local filmmaker Ryan Hill also fit snug into the program with his humorous exposé called The Perspective Myth.

Our only regret was not quite being able to fit in Ben Balcom’s wonderful piece Reginald, but you can always check it out here!

Below you can find the (nearly) full program from Lines of Perspective, for those of you that didn’t have the time!


-Aaron Zeghers


Open City Cinema presents
Nov. 26th at RAW Gallery, 7PM

curated by Aaron Zeghers and Rhayne Vermette


Notes on a Triangle – René Jodoin

Cubits – Al Jarnow

Drill – Takashi lto

Manipulating the T-Bar – Bruce Naumann

Free Radicals – Len Lye

Cellestial Navigations – Al Jarnow


The Myth of Perspective – Ryan Hill

Lines Postfixal – Christine Lucy Latimer

Iceland Spar – Alexander Stewart

Regina 25 – Gerald Saul

Square Ball – Jane Cassidy

Ghostly – Maxime Corbeil-Perron

Underpass – Wendy Morgan

Bridge Study – Naren Wilks (ON SUPER 8!!)

The Voice of God – Bernd Lützeler (trailer)

~ by cineflyer on November 27, 2013.

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