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05 AUGUST 2012

Paolo Gioli's cinematic tone poem to Marilyn Monroe

"Italian film maker Paolo Gioli creates a haunting short movie by animating photographs taken by Bert Stern of Marilyn Monroe shortly before she died at the age of 36, fifty years ago today.

Filmarilyn is both beautiful and foreboding. As the film's jazzy rhythms start to disintegrate and the images slow to a crawl, 'X' marks on the contact sheets appear like magical curses and a fresh scar on Marilyn's flesh transforms into a stigmata while her face, half–hidden by shrouds of white, eyes closed, turns impossibly pale and lifeless. In the final moments, close–ups of her hands in death–like repose seem almost saintly and as the film's last frames unspool we are left with the sense of having seen an apparition, a ghost... a soul X–rayed.

It's amazing how much power and sadness Gioli creates from so few elements – a testimony to his artistry, Marilyn's radiance and Stern's skill in capturing it."

(Marc Campbell, 05 August 2012, Dangerous Minds)

Fig.1 Paolo Gioli (1992) "Filmarilyn", uploaded to Vimeo by Volodymyr Bilyk.

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TAGS

1992 • actress • animated sequenceanimated video • animating photographs • apparitionavant-garde cinema • Bert Stern • blondecelluloid • contact sheet • cultural icondeath • death-like repose • depth of focus • disintegrate • experimental film • eyes closed • Filmarilyn • Filmmarilyn • final moments • forebodingfound imagesframe by frameghost • haunting • HollywoodHollywood starletjazz rhythm • lifeless • manipulated images • Marilyn Monroe • modulated object framing • motion designnon-narrative • Paolo Gioli • photographic blow-upspop iconre-purposerhythmic motionrisque • scar • scavengedsequence design • sex symbol • short film • short movie • shrouds of white • simulate dimensionality • slow to a crawl • soul • stigmata • still images • still photographs • stop-frame animation • superstar • tantalizing • tone poem • unspool • visual recessions • X marks • x-ray

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 JANUARY 2010

Standard Gauge: examining the shards of the film industry frame by frame

"Standard Gauge is an autobiographical account of a few years in the film career of its maker. Such, at least, is its ostensible form and purpose. The material from which the film is composed is pieces of 35mm motion picture film, a width known in former times as standard gauge, that its maker collected while working in and around the commercial motion picture industry. The pieces are a miscellaneous assortment, and include narrative features, trailers, newsreels, commercials, and pieces of head and tail leader. ...

By examining the shards of the industry frame by frame, it discovers some of the means and themes of experimental film living, so to speak, in Hollywood. And at the same time, the film engulfs and usurps the material of the commercial motion picture industry, turning it into its subject. Thus Standard Gauge proposes a kind of mutuality or interdependence between two kinds of filmmaking that by conventional standards are thought to be divided by an unbridgeable chasm. By means of a mutual interrogation between 35mm, the gauge of the industry, and 16mm, the gauge of the independent and amateur, Standard Gauge proposes to unify film of every kind."

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TAGS

16mm198435mmartefact • China girl • commentaryephemeraexperimental filmfilmfilmmaking • forensic • found footagefound imagesframe by framegleanerHollywoodindependent cinemamaterial culturememorabilia • Morgan Fisher • scavenged • Standard Gauge • stop frametechnologyvernacular photography

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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