Visions of the Body II: Sonbert/Herbert

One of the most recurrent themes in the work of Warren Sonbert is love between couples (the dynamic of communication, the loving relationship and desire). The Bad and the Beautiful, one of his first colour films with a pop music soundtrack, shows the private rituals of young people on the New York art scene of the sixties. He brings a contemplative approach to his portrayal of couples and the beauty of people in private, in the bedroom and in the street, relaxing with friends, embracing, lying down or waiting for a lover. The filmmaker and painter James Herbert—better known for his music videos for R.E.M.—explores the fragility of the human body using the cinema’s most basic formal properties: light and texture. Porch Glider, a silent film in color, is a meditative, sensual study of adolescent couples naked in the garden, on the porch and in the many rooms of an old house in the US South. With their different filmic strategies, Sonbert and Herbert present a series of specific bodies associated with gesture and the historic context of the late sixties.

The Bad and the Beautiful, Warren Sonbert, 1967, 16 mm, 34 min; Porch Glider, James Herbert, EUA, 1970, silent, 35mm, 25 min

21 March 2013


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