Emmanuel Lefrant
Emmanuel Lefrant has found new ways to paint film. For All Over (2001), he sprayed and dripped developed 8mm strips of black leader with a variety of chemicals--"hydrochloric and sulfuric acids, sod, bleach"--that bore away at the emulsion, marking it with different shapes and colors. Lefrant conceives of his films like paintings, likening the emptiness of the black film to Malevich's Suprematist compositions, calling the material "a space in which everything is possible, the space of absolute potentiality and virtuality." The result is a lapidary asteroid belt of colorful dots in pinks, reds, and blues, whose movement and varying size (determined by chance and the distance of Lefrant's spray can to the filmstrip) produce surprisingly three-dimensional depth effects. Though hand-painted, Lefrant points out that no tool or human hand touched the film, and that its forms and color combinations were the result of "semi-controlled" gestures modeled after Jackson Pollock's drip paintings. Lefrant pursued this idea even more explicitly in a follow-up film, Overall (2006), in which he applied oil paints onto clear leader and then inverted the colors via contact printing. Signal processing translated the density of colors into sweeps of electronic tone and metallic clink-clanks for the soundtrack. The resulting combination of sound and image is at once bewildering and strangely hypnotic, with the digital soundtrack imparting a contemporary feel to a familiar direct filmmaking technique.

Sample Media:

Blitz (2006)