Thursday, May 7, 2009, 8pm
Artists' Television Access
992 Valencia
San Francisco

White Heart

by Daniel Barnett

1975, 16mm, color/so, 53 min

Barnett's magnum opus turns cinema inside out.

This is a philosopher's film that puts the materials on display, and stretches the meaning across fragments of Wittgensteinian investigations of certainty and doubt. Poet Robert Kocik observed that the "white" of the title is not the blanched, fearful heart of doubt, but the full-spectrum white of the projection beam> That is, the illumination that cannot lie (because it cannot tell the truth).

This is a painter's film: through the shimmering and saturated tones of the now defunct Kodachrome, this print prismatically refracts and mangles that light into series of gestures, which form an essay, but also a meandering path that keeps putting off the question, how will it end?

This is a musician's film, where the images function as motifs which recur and build into phrases and movements. The instruments upon which the film was composed, the camera, the editing bench, the contact printer, all are orchestrated into a fugue of visual questions, parries, answers and cinematic marvels.

P.S. not for the narratively biased.

article on White Heart from Cinematograph v.1 (1985)