Saturday, October 01, 2011

Diepte / [Depth]

[Profondità] (FTL Film, NL 1933) (Silent version) D, DP, ED: Frans Dupont; asst: Elsy Keppler; col. tech: Willem Bon; 35 mm, 109 m, ca. 6' (18 fps), col.; print source: EYE Film Institute Netherlands, Amsterdam. No intertitles. Viewed at Teatro Verdi, Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Pordenone, grand piano: Stephen Horne, and somebody played the flute, 1 Oct 2011.

David Robinson (GCM Catalogue): "Frans Dupont (1908-1978) was one of the group of young Amsterdam filmmakers who gathered around the Filmliga and the Ivens Studio in the early 1930s. With Willem Bon he was a leading figure in the Filmtechnische Leergang (FTL) – an offshoot of the Filmliga – one of whose three short productions was Diepte. Subsequently he made documentaries, often in collaboration with his wife Dientje Stevens, and taught editing at the Nederlandse Filmacademie. The opening credits announce “een absolute film” and declare that “This film seeks only to be harmony, there is no representation of an actual subject”. However, it does not fit into the strictest avantgarde definition of the absolute film as having no relation to any reality lying outside its own images, sound, rhythm, and in this case colour. (The colour process has not been established.) Dupont’s use of abstractions alongside animated characters and some moments of live action represent rather a combination of the purely abstract German absolute film and the French cinema pur, which makes freer use of images drawn from reality."

"The title expresses Dupont’s particular interest in illusions of a third dimension, exemplified in the forced perspective of the stylized building and the circle that recedes, finally disappearing, into its depths; and the ball which emerges from a doorway to descend a staircase, growing as it accelerates and advances on the spectator." – DAVID ROBINSON

AA: In the opening credits Diepte is announced as "an absolute film", and the purely abstract passages are the finest. The drawn characters are partly animated.

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