NC Premier of David Gatten’s “The Extravagant Shadows”

Tomorrow, the Cinema Studies Series at Duke University presents a the North Carolina premier of a new work of digital cinema by filmmaker and MFAEDA faculty member David Gatten!

The Extravagant Shadows

(1998-2012, 175 min, Color, HD projection of Digital Master)

Friday, Nov 30, 2012

3:00PM – 6:30PM

Perkins Library–Biddle Rare Book Room

Free and open to the public!  Coffee and tea available before the screening; Q&A and reception to follow.


“Suggestion is the rock, and the physical evidence is the evanescent spray that breaks against the unseen. Transitive enharmonics of things touching in middair, an air which is Time – not an actual intersection, but with a consequence as powerful as predestination, a momentary fulfillment, a trail beyond mere pattern, like a streak of truth alive and un-contained, like something that runs through infinity, slowing to leave condensation, sonority, a temperature. Lines crossing lines. Not there. There. Invisibilities smudging. Gesture and impression, optic suggestions, agents on and in the mind. Each with vibrations, dollops, whispers, throbs, particles and waves. A finger of pigment brushing a lip of language exchanging carriage supports, liquidities, fire. Moire of meanings. Micro settings in the heart. The time it takes. The very least one can say is to say The Extravagant Shadows is a major work. Humanly essential, adventurous and necessary.”

— Mark McElhatten, co-curator, 50th New York Film Festival’s “Views from the Avant Garde”



“David Gatten’s The Extravagant Shadows takes up the process of vanishing as its aesthetic conceit and poetic core. Like many of Gatten’s works on celluloid, The Extravagant Shadows is concerned with time of reading, of messages sent and not always, or not fully, received—the work could be considered as much an expanded book as it is a moving image work. To merely watch this film is not enough; it must also be read and indeed inhabited, feeling through the sometimes long intervals between panes of applied paint, the momentary appearance of text, the times of the film’s many vanishings. The film provides ample space to settle in (or to sometimes resist) its subtle rhythms, to observe the striations of color and texture as the paint accumulates, and to absorb the tale of a love affair conducted in letters over the span many years, along with many digressions on the physics of sound transmission, instructions for cablegram communication, and philosophical ruminations on the nature of speech and description. For its formal austerity, The Extravagant Shadows may be a perceptually demanding work, though it is by no means an unforgiving one. Rather it is an occasion to see and sense the events of disappeared pasts in the richness of the present.”
– Genevieve Yue, Reverse Shot


This event is sponsored by The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library and the “Thinking Cinematics Working Group” with support from the Franklin Humanities Institute and the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image.

More info here and here.

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