Cinema by other means

reviewed by Greg DeCuir

Cinema by other means by Pavle Levi (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 224 pg., $24.95.

Part one: a visual essay

Cinema by other means makes the case for an alternative cinematic apparatus and experience. From the exhibition Cinema by other means (Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, June 22 - September 29, 2013), Roland Sabatierís "The Evidence" (1966) provides a good opening argument for this book's case, withholding all the latent possibilities of cinema while forcing the viewer to pry open this mysterious container with the power of imagination.

Imagination is also a necessity in Sabatierís painting "Entracíte" (1969), which offers a white space in which to complete the forward projection of an image fragment.

The white space of the cinema screen dominates this photographic image of Tomislav Gotovac. By his placement in front of the screen he becomes a player in the very film of his imagination which he sees every morning when he wakes up and opens his eyes, according to his famous cinephilic declaration which accompanies the image.

Cinephilia drives the creation of Slobodan Sijanís Film Leaflets (1976-1979), which offer everything from abstract visual criticism to collages in the form of a fanzine that is a surrogate for the desire to participate in the process of filmmaking.

Desire is projected and reinscribed in multiple levels of video recording in "The Last Tango in Paris" (1983) by Miodrag Milosevic. Here the video conveys desire that is also frustrated by the position of the figure in the frame.

Reinscription lies at the heart of Sijanís "Media Suicide" (1977), in which the artist is consumed by the very medium he employs and the camera ultimately leaves no trace of itself. The image features Sijan himself behind the camera, with the lens pointed directly at the viewer.

Go to page 2, visual essay continued

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