Pictures of an Exhibition(ist): Films by Brian Frye | Chicago Reader

Pictures of an Exhibition(ist): Films by Brian Frye

Engaging the mind as actively as the eye, this young New Yorker forges an occasionally humorous, somewhat hermetic intellectual cinema that encourages the viewer to question the nature of time, the image, and reality itself. Despite the program title and Frye's appearance in four of the six films, he's no exhibitionist: in 6.95: Striptease he never takes it all off, and in 11.95: Brian Frye Fails to Masturbate he does the title justice—fully clothed, he barely moves his hands. Indeed, these superbly original films draw much of their power from the way they refuse to deliver typical cinematic pleasures. For 9.95: The Most Important Moment in My Life (Infinite Set), Frye used a high-speed camera to film himself doing nothing except slowly looking downward near the end; by expanding an instant into minutes, the filmmaker encourages us to focus on the grain, finding “infinity” in its random variety. For Ladies Day he reedited found footage to produce a haunting evocation of a past we can never know: people look offscreen, as if they?re watching some spectacular event, and a concluding image of a mourning Jackie Kennedy underlines the elegiac tone. On the same program, Meeting With Khrushchev and World's Fair and Exhibition.

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