Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Ere Erera Baleibu Icik Subua Aruaren

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Basque abstract artist Jose Antonio Sistiaga painted directly onto film with homemade inks to create this silent 1970 feature. But Sistiaga's strangely titled work, which has recently been restored, is different from the films of Stan Brakhage, who didn't come to film from painting and had his own rhythm. Among the predominant patterns in this abstract extravaganza are dancing drops and specks that alternately suggest satellites, flying saucers, or rushing bodies of water, and its combination of color and 35-millimeter 'Scope (with about half an hour in black and white) yields the kind of spectacle one associates with musicals and SF epics. This gets richer as it develops, recapitulating and developing its motifs of shape and color, which inevitably suggest representational forms (pebbles and bubbles, bats and insects, stained glass and latticework), only to move beyond them, as music does. That's why the silence here is absolutely necessary--it allows the images to sing. 75 min. Gene Siskel Film Center.

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