Tom Chomont / Robert Beavers

Intimacy, affections and creative exchanges between Tom Chomont and Robert Beavers are materialized in these films, in which the two filmmakers simultaneously develop the possibility of a lyrical cinema on the borderline between portrait and psychological drama, eroticism and formal stylization. Their frenetic meditations offer us complementary views of the splitting of the subject and the exploration of sexuality.

The rhythmic complexity and elliptical narratives of the films of Gregory J. Markopoulos inspired the young Chomont and Beavers to make a personal cinema in which the musicality of the montage expresses the psychical flow of its characters. Starting with a portraitist and sometimes vaguely narrative premise, both place their subjects (on several occasions, Beavers himself in Chomont’s films, and Chomont in Beavers’s) in a suspended time that is structured by the repetition of instants and the interweaving of gestures and motifs, giving each image a carnal and metaphysical gravity.

During the period of time covered by this programme, both filmmakers displayed their formal richness, reflecting dark emotional states related to personal traumas. In the case of Chomont, through his intense use of superpositions, mirror images, the alternation of positive and negative material and direct intervention on the film, multiplying the symmetries on the surface of the image, converted into a mandala. Beavers meanwhile combines frequent musical, pictorial and literary references with the use of slight camera movements, variations in focus and the repeated use of geometric masks and multiple-coloured filters, which converge in an image of alienation with his body and with the urban space.

Tom Chomont: Ophelia/The Cat Lady, 1969, 2’; Love Objects, 1971, silent, 16’; The Mirror Garden, 1967, silent, 4’; Epilog/Siam, 1968, silent, 5’; Jabook, 1967, silent, 3’; Phases of the Moon, 1968, silent, 3’; Oblivion, 1969, silent, 4’. Robert Beavers: Spiracle, 1966, 12’; The Count of Days, 1969, 21’; Palinode, 1970, 21’.

16-mm projection.

Tom Chomont copies from The Film-Makers’ Cooperative. Copy of Spiracle from Filmarchiv Schönecker. Copies of The Count of Days and Palinode from the Temenos Archives, with thanks to the artist.

28 January 2024


The Auditorium
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