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Drowning in Flames

Canada, 1994 (MIFF 1995, Experimental)

Director: Garine Torossian

Once again this Armenian Canadian film maker proves that she is the world s best alchemist of handmade abstract film this time taking on the aesthetic of her contemporaries Mike and Doug Starn. A natural homage and collabora­tion, in that Torossian's own darkroom tech­niques of decaying and obliterating the surface of film echo the Starns approach to photogra­phy in deterioration Drowning In Flames is a spectacularly mesmerising non-stop express tram of images from art history books mutilat­ed into submission. No computer could create the kind of organic textures that seem to peel off the screen and the effect is akin to an ancient manuscript crumbling in your hands as you turn the page.

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