Chapter three: Juxtaposition - Where do you think you are?
If the previous group of films utilised Manchot’s technical philosophies as a stills photographer transposed to moving subjects, the following two films display how a fixed frame shot can explore modes of temporality. The first film here, Stardust Rehearsal (2007), has Manchot asking four Berlin-based pop bands to compose a tune based on the theme ‘The Future’, while Four Moors (Sardinia) (2008) brings together four people from that country to each sing a song that is embedded within the cultural history of the nation.
These two films are demonstrative of Manchot’s ongoing momentum at this point as a filmmaker. She understands the implications of using a time-based medium and thereby the films become less about individual portraits as they are portraits of cultural identity: one fixed in a specifically contemporary context, the other examining a series of intertwined cultural texts.
Billy Kluver (after John Cage) once spoke of the phrase an ‘unmixed media’, where, like the early cinema, all aspects of production (camera, scenario, script, stage, etc.) were separate and easily identifiable. In contrast, by reducing all these constituent parts to their most elemental values, a deceptively simple frame defies the multi-layered philosophical implications of what history and the future mean today.