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05 AUGUST 2012

A Game with No Rules: rear projected Kiwi short film melodrama

"A trio of future Kiwi screen stars smoke, smoulder, steal – and worse – in Scott Reynolds' serpentine short noir. Kane (Marton Csokas) and his Zambesi–clad woman on the side (Danielle Cormack) set about ripping off Kane's rich wife (Jennifer Ward–Lealand) with bloody results. Writer/director Scott Reynolds and longtime partner in crime, cinematographer Simon Raby, serve notice of their talents – and inspirations – with heady lighting, deliberately shonky back projection, and opening titles right out of Hitchcock [Saul Bass inspired]. Muso Greg Johnson supplies the horns."

(NZ On Screen)

Fig.1 Scott Reynolds/Zee Films (1994), "A Game with No Rules" Aotearoa New Zealand, 35mm 16 minutes.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
26 NOVEMBER 2008

Sátántangó: surprise non-linearity

"Also interesting from the perspective of temporality, along with Tarr's staggeringly long takes, is the film's narrative structure, which is what I call 'surprise non–linearity.' As the film begins we watch events that are occurring in a forward, linear temporality (with minor ellipsis' occurring in between certain shots). At a certain point we experience a sense of deja vu which shakes this temporal foundation: a scene which we have already scene repeats but from a different spatial and narrational point of view. In this case the moment occurs, as noted in the beginning, from the position of the doctor's desk. In the film's second scene we see a man who has slept with a married woman sneak out of the house when the husband returns home. The camera later cuts outside to an image of the adulterer hiding behind the corner of a house out of view of the husband, who is in the middle background of the shot looking out into the expanse. Forty or so minutes into the film we see this same mise en scene of the man hiding from the husband but from the doctor's point of view, as he writes the event down in his notebook. This stuttering temporality occurs on several occasions. Offscreen contributor Randolph Jordan tells me that when he saw Béla Tarr present this film in Vancouver the director used the tango to explain the film's temporal structure: two steps forward, one step back. One can also see the temporal structure as an echo of the film's metaphorical use of the spider. Several of the film's intertitles make reference to the spider, and the spider makes a physical appearance at the end of the long pub dance scene. In a long lateral tracking shot of the drunken revelers a spider can be briefly scene in the foreground of a shot spinning a web between two glasses. The voice–over tells us that the spider will be spinning its web around the objects, and around the people in the pub, echoing of course the messiah's trap. The spiral–like shape of the spider web acts as an apt parallel to the film's narrative temporality. This type of 'surprise non–linearity' has become quite common in recent years. A list of films which use such a structure, to varying degrees and ends, includes Korean director Hong Sang–Joo's The Power of Kangwon Province/Kangwondo Eui Him (1998) and Virgin Stripped Bare by her Naked Bachelors (2000), Mystery Train (jim Jarmusch, 1989), Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1995), Heaven (Scott Reynold, 1998), Before the Rain (Milcho Manchevski, 1994), and A Moment of Innocence (Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 1996)."

Totaro, 2002)

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TAGS

black and whitechronologycinemacommunity • deja vu • designfarmfilmfilm directorfilmmakerHungarianHungary • interlink • Jim Jarmusch • Krasznahorkai • lingering • long takes • meditative pace • Messiah • metaphor • Milcho Manchevski • mise-en-scene • Mohsen Makhmalbaf • narrativenon-linearQuentin Tarantino • Satantango • Scott Reynoldsspiderstructure • surprise non-linearity • tango • Tarr • temporal

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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