Early films by Hollis Frampton | Chicago Reader

Early films by Hollis Frampton

Hollis Frampton (1936-'84) was a major avant-garde filmmaker who used his vast knowledge of the sciences, poetry, photography, and classical languages to construct elegant films that begin as exercises in logic and become poetic quests for a sense of completion. Heterodyne (1967) presents a few simple shapes—a circle, a triangle—punched into black film and interspersed with flashing colors, becoming a kind of inventory of color-shape juxtapositions. Palindrome (1969) offers rapidly intercut lush abstract patterns Frampton appropriated from random film-lab waste, which seem to have been combined in every possible way. Lemon (1969) is both elegant and humorous: a single lemon in close-up is illuminated by a rotating light to suggest the phases of the moon—an imagining of the extraterrestrial through the ordinary. 71 min.

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