MARIA OF PUDONG

by Drazen ZANCHI
2008 / 16mm / b&w / silent / 1S / 20' 00

This film was shot with Kodak Tri-X 16mm film, using a Bolex-Paillard H16 reflex camera. I shot most of the film while riding my bicycle, holding the camera in my right hand. Almost all the shots are 30 seconds long, the maximum duration allowed by the spring-load motor of my camera.
The concept behind the operation was "camera-bicycle as prayer machine". The film was shot in Shanghai, mostly in Pudong, a neighborhood situated on the right bank of the river. Each 30 second shot can be compared to a breath, or a wave; one could make a parallel here with the Rosary Beads and the Catholic rite that it symbolises: a series of breaths (beads), each one different from the next (all equal), with a non-trivial goal, accessible only to those who can stay the course and follow the mathematical precision of its protocol. A single shot means nothing; the ensemble, by means of a mathematically determined series of connections, reveals the underlying content by means of co-operation or, to put it more simply, by using rhythm.
The concept of a series of breaths which increase progressively in significance and intensity, as well as the connection to the Rosary, made me think that it would be a good idea to accompany the film with live spiritual (religious) music. Musical phrases will interact with the filmed images according to a time-scale determined by the length of one full wind of the Bolex spring-load motor.
Each 30 second shot is accompanied by a musical phrase or series of phrases, which dissipate during the few seconds of black leader separating one shot from the next. Once the music has accompanied thirty shots in this manner, we permit ourselves a certain liberty, to coincide with the last sequence of the film which is quite different to all those preceding it.
During the projection Helene and I hung fruit and vegetables in front of the screen, just as Carlo Crivelli (1685-1750) hung fruit and vegetables in front of his paintings. Our intention in this case was to give a metaphysical and (g)astronomic sense to our intervention.

1 PRINT IN DISTRIBUTION


distribution format 16mm
screen 1,37 - Standard (single screen)
speed 24 fps
sound silent
rental fee 122,00 €