December 5, 2009, 7:30pm
"The answer to the riddle was an image, but that image was remembered to be different from the way it had originally existed.”
Recalling both the compositional rigors of structural-materialist filmmakers like Peter Gidal as well as the inventive, lo-fi theatricality of New Romantics such as Derek Jarman, the films of Emily Wardill are a kind of strange, brilliant marriage of two wildly disparate traditions of British underground cinema. Radiating outward from such diverse elements as the writings of Nietzsche, a hypnosis case study, medieval iconography, and the chromophotography of Étienne Jules Marey, her work maintains a philosophical density and an agile visual sense. It represents a profoundly idiosyncratic approach to film form that also addresses some of the medium’s most fundamental questions, of the relationship between what we see and what we know, of representation and its limits.