Text(s) of Light, or Reading in the Dark: Recent Films by David Gatten | Chicago Reader

Text(s) of Light, or Reading in the Dark: Recent Films by David Gatten

Former Chicagoan David Gatten returns with a program of recent work that continues to expand the possibilities of cinema. His brilliantly conceived What the Water Said Nos. 1-3 (1998) was made by placing unexposed film in an undersea crab cage, the resulting scratches on the unprocessed footage representing the “organic logic of the ocean's authorship.” The other three films experiment with printed text: The Enjoyment of Reading (Lost & Found) (2001); Moxon's Mechanick Exercises (1999), an obsessive (and rather tedious) reading assignment; and the sprightly, provocative Secret History of the Dividing Line, which uses a rhythmic series of magnified splice bars to break up a text about an old boundary dispute, their visibility within the frame suggesting that all divisions, whether political or aesthetic, are arbitrary. 88 min.

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