MORE DARK THAN SHARK - FEATURE
Film by Malcolm Le Grice / Music by Brian Eno
One of Brian Eno's early musical works was the soundtrack to Berlin Horse (1970), Malcolm Le Grice's first full-length experiment with the manipulation of film images. Le Grice combined a sixteen millimetre black-and-white film of his own footage showing nothing but a horse being lunged with fragments of The Burning Barn (1900) by the important British film pioneer Cecil Milton Hepworth. The continuous movements of the horse's long leash correspond to the repetitive sound-track by Brian Eno, who in the early '70s was experimenting with tape loops. Eno's sound structures support the inner consistency of the piece, whose steady pace slowly increases once the pictures from the little village of Berlin, near Hamburg, gradually give way to Hepworth's images of a burning barn. In spite of the dramatic scene shown in the historic film sequences, Le Grice, a decided opponent of the narrative and illusionist practices of Hollywood, foregoes any final showdown that overpowers the viewer by presenting a fait accompli: like the lunging of the horse before it, the saving of animals threatened by the flames is repeated over and over again.
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