installation (dupla projeção 16mm, loop, som)
Never a Foot Too Far, Even · Canada · 2011 · 13' / 12'47”
Appropriating a brief fragment from a 35mm print of an old Kung Fu movie, "Never a Foot Too Far, Even" is an action movie without action. Presented in double-projection with two 16mm film projectors and loopers, with images from two separate reels overlaid to form a single image, the film focuses on an obscure figure finding himself in a forest path, caught between perpetual motion and stasis. The painterly images fluctuate in the complex shifting of colour and texture, phasing in and out through a polymetric structure. It is a perceptual journey without destination in the turning sphere of ever-changing image and sound, whose beginning and end move in parallel towards a fleeting point of convergence. The two-track sound loop is an original structured improvisation by composer/violinist Malcolm Goldstein.
Rather than making a personal statement on a piece that is rather personal and thus casting too much shadow of me over the image when there is enough shadow of me already in the image, here is just a brief technical note on Never a Foot Too Far, Even: The installation consists of two rolls of 16mm film projected simultaneously in loop. One roll is 13 minutes in length, and the other roll 12 minutes and 47 seconds, that is to say 13 seconds shorter than the first. And it goes through 60 different cycles of permutation over the course of 13 hours. Similarly, the accompanying sound has two separate tracks of different lengths, played simultaneously. It is a recording of Malcolm Goldstein performing the same piece twice, differently. Never a Foot Too Far, Even is not for those with a short attention span – though no one, including myself, asks you to subject yourself to staying with it for hours on end. It is an installation after all – you are free to enter whenever you like, stay however long or short you like, and leave whenever you like. That is the rules of the game. It might be instructive for some, however, to mention that Never a Foot Too Far, Even emerged out of my interest in the work of Alberto Giacometti and Samuel Beckett. So, here is from Beckett’s Stirrings Still, quoted in lieu of a statement: “There then all this time where never till then and so far as he could see in every direction when he raised his head and opened his eyes no danger or hope as the case might be of his ever getting out of it. Was he then now to press on regardless now in one direction and now in another or on the other hand stir no more as the case might be that is as that missing word might be which if to warn such as sad or bad for example then of course in spite of all the one and if the reverse then of course the other that is stir no more. Such and much more such the hubbub in his mind so-called till nothing left from deep within but only ever fainter oh to end. No matter how no matter where. Time and grief and self so-called. Oh all to end.”
Japanese filmmaker based in Montreal, Canada, Daïchi Saïto studied literature and philosophy in the USA and Hindi and Sanskrit in India before turning to film. His work explores the relation between the corporeal phenomena of vision and the material nature of the medium, fusing a formal investigation of frame and juxtaposition with sensual and poetic expressions. His work has screened at numerous venues worldwide, and his 2009 film Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis won the Best of the Festival Award at the 48th Ann Arbor Film Festival and the Jury Grand Prize at the 16th Media City Film Festival. His films are included in the permanent collection of the Austrian Film Museum in Vienna and distributed by Light Cone (Paris), Arsenal (Berlin) and CFMDC (Toronto). Co-founder of the Montreal-based artist filmmaking collective Double Negative, Saïto has taught cinema at Concordia University in Montreal, NSCAD University in Halifax and the Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV de San Antonio de los Baños (EICTV) in Cuba. He has also been active in curating programmes of film and video, most recently as Co-Director (2010-12) of CinemaSpace at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts in Montreal.