José Antonio Sistiaga
Jose Antonio Sistiaga is another handmade filmmaker who simultaneously explored the inner workings of the mind as he depicted the farthest reaches of the cosmos. Though he has made only a few films, they are among the most remarkable examples of the possibilities of painting on film. Sistiaga is a Basque painter who began work on this feature-length film, . . . era erera baleibu izik subua aruaren . . . in 1968. Working twelve to seventeen hours a day, Sistiaga completed the work in 1970, when it had its debut in Madrid. Composed of 108,000 hand-painted frames left to dry in the heat of the Spanish sun, Sistiaga's seventy-five-minute, 35mm film was inspired by his viewings of Norman McLaren's handmade animations and combines the artisanal filmmaker's interest in formal innovation, economic control, the politics of refusal, synesthesia, the aleatory, and the spiritual in art. Sistiaga painted directly on transparent film, using brushes, felt-tip pens, India ink, sand, and seawater. Some sequences are composed frame-by-frame; others are painted across frame lines. In its hailstorm of painted imagery, Sistiaga seems to be literalizing early film theorist Ricciotto Canudo's claim that the cinema is "plastic art in motion."

Sample Media:

Impresiones en la alta atmosfera (1988-89)