Arbitrary Limits

by Dunford, Mike

Film: 16mm 1974


Extending the logic of the argument further, this is at first a fairly simple film. The shot length, and therefore structure of the film were determined by the muscular fatigue accompanying holding the camera out at arms length. The film-stock by what was available. The film attempts to document, through the vestigial film representation, the situation in which it was made, and the production conditions of its making. The link between the image and its referent, assumed in a documentary, is carried to the point at which it breaks down. What you see tells you almost nothing about what those production conditions were, although it's clear all the time that they are supposed to. The spoken monologue of the film-maker to his assistant (female) reveals not only a social relationship but also the extreme limitations of this element of representation. The viewer, like a detective, gradually pieces together the pieces of the film, and in so doing so, discovers the conceptual boundaries of the construct, of any film construct, in its relationship to its making.


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