Friday, February 12, 2010

Notes on Some Early Films of Peter Hutton

(I saw portentous billowings

dead-silent swirls, emanations of
a vast cthonic ensilvering mind---
displeased perhaps but spilling

out abundance prodigally,
requiring nothing)

Close-cropped visions: a shadow
and a patch of light and a few forms

quiver respire sit flash
against each other, expropriated
for a moment from
the lesser sphere of human
bustle and leverage and accounting

(No text here, no symbols at all
This is respite from language)

The eye we're given refuses
to move, it transfigures through
distillation, the projector-purr
warming every tiny drama
of dark and light tones

Kinetic icons, transitory-spectral
signs---though most with no
referent---appearing and vanishing
at variable speeds

We all feel a discreet tension
not untinged by dread
in waiting for something to breach
each frame, or---the tension
torqued---in responding when
something does

The smallest movement, not
occurring or not noticed at first,
in the shot's remotest corners
or, poignantly minute, in the barely
perceptible recesses of the
surface-mesh, suddenly animates
the whole, floods the austere
scene with possibility

And the eye closes, reverently,
as if to savor and swallow
the seen, the event-with-its-things

(I saw shimmers that kept
multiplying in each successive act!)

Le Parti Pris Des Choses,
unabashed love for duration,
for that which endures, and how

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