Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
Ken Jacobs • United States • 1969 • One of Ken Jacobs' great experiments in photography and editing.
Ken Jacobs started experimenting with found footage, expanding a five-minute fragment of Billy Bitzer’s Tom, Tom, The Piper’s Son (1905) to feature length. In Jacobs’s words—“Ghosts! Cine-recordings of the vivacious doings of persons long dead... I wanted to 'bring to the surface' that multi-rhythmic collision-contesting of dark and light two-dimensional force areas struggling edge to edge for identity of shape... to get into the amoebic grain pattern itself—a chemical dispersion pattern unique to each frame, each cold still... stirred to life by a successive 16-24 frame-per-second pattering on our retinas, the teeming energies elicited (the grains! the grains!) then collaborating, unknowingly and ironically, to form the always-poignant-because-always-past illusion. A movie about penetration to the sublime, to the infinite..." Restored in 2K by the Museum of Modern Art.
Up Next in Ken Jacobs
Ken Jacobs • United States • 1964 • Ken Jacobs' experiment with lenses and screens.
The moving camera shapes the screen image with great purposefulness, using the frame of a window as fulcrum upon which to wheel about the exterior scene. The zoom lens rips, pulling depth planes apart.