Chris Gallagher. Undivided Attention

The CCCB's cinema

The Canadian Chris Gallagher’s film evokes the experience of the initiatory journey as a metacinematic treatment. Structured like a series of independent sequences, the film gravitates around a recurrent shot: a woman and a man with their backs to us, driving in an open-top car. Supposedly an abstract road movie, the film records Canada’s urban and rural landscape through ingenious filmic concepts which result in a reflection on the medium’s illusionist background.

Misleading documentations and minimalist mise-en-scenes demonstrate the power of filmic image for the purpose of articulating theoretical instances. They also reveal another similar or even more significant objective: the quest for beauty. Suggesting the observational capacity of the cinematic camera and the cognitive value of the montage are the distinctive features of a film which celebrates the representation of movement by analysing the relevance of transience.

Challenging gravity and the tendency to chain reaction are used as stylistic resources. These complex filmic perspectives indicate the influence of structural cinema constraints, but avoid formality in order to drive a kaleidoscopic narrative, where the couple’s presence in the car paces the set of circumstances.

Undivided Attention, Chris Gallagher, 1987, 16 mm, 107 min

7 February 2019


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