Best of Avant Garde 2014
On the continuing evolution of non-commercial filmmaking.

3. Pan (Anton Ginzburg) (New York: Projections)
Anton Ginzburg’s Pan unfolds in unassumingly dramatic fashion, accumulating historic and cinematic gravitas as it unlocks a slipstream of bygone mediums through a conflation of various aesthetic modes and materials. Commencing with a visual overture of sorts, as Ginzburg’s 16mm lens gazes upon the ornate architecture of an unnamed cathedral, the film initially appears to be reverently indexing a space of social and spiritual intimacy. And indeed, the monumentality of these black-and-white images is worthy of Wiseman or Emigholz. But soon the image tilts and distorts, pulling back to reveal the source of the image on screen and the apparatus aiding our perspective as distinct entities. The church footage, now seen as a projection, flickers across the frame as a video monitor rests conspicuously in the distance. As Ginzburg’s camera then proceeds to push into the screen’s distorted, analogue pixelations, unstable hues flowing lava-like across the screen, these subtle epiphanies induce a kind of retroactive syndication, suggesting an aesthetic continuum which Ginzburg leaves ominously open-ended.