José Val del Omar (Granada 1904 – Madrid 1982). With an extraordinary artistic and technological talent, Val del Omar was a ‘’believer in cinema’’ inspired by new horizons that he formulated in the term PLAT – representing the totalizing concept of a ‘’Picto-Luminic-Audio-Tactile’’ art – apart from being a contemporary and a comrade of Lorca, Cernuda, Renau, Zambrano and other figures of a Silver Age of the Spanish culture, interrupted by the Civil War. In 1928 he anticipated various of his most characteristic techniques, including the ‘’apanoramic overflow of the image’’ beyond the limits of the screen, and the concept of ‘’tactile vision’‘. These techniques. and those of ’’diaphonic sound’’ and other explorations in the field of electro-acoustics, would be applied in his Tríptico Elemental de España [Elementary Tryptich of Spain], begun in 1953 and only finished after his death. His work and tenacious research activity – quite against any tendency of misunderstanding and forgetfulness… read more
I feel as though I've woken up in an entirely new place. They say you cannot understand sculpture without understanding dance. Likewise cinema should not be attempted without an intimate embrace of the plastic arts. Val del Omar's work is ancient, medieval, far ahead of the avant garde, and at the same time at an angle oblique to where it would eventually find itself. His films validate my reasons for loving cinema, while at the same time giving me new ones. I know I'll miss the experience of seeing these films for the first time.
So glad to see this love for the master. I have seen his Triptych obsessively every week the past several months and discover things anew each time. I'll only add that there is strong antagonistic Orphic or better yet something derived from Blake or Boehme that I find in his films. The sense that though the world is a dark place of law and horror (created by Urizen for Blake) the deepest part of the self is free and divine. Whether one buys the metaphysics literally (I don't), as metaphor, source for optimism, it really is something. I really want to read more about val del Omar. If you guys come across anything interesting about him let me know!
@Bitė I think I responded to that intensity as well, certainly the "ecstasy" and "eternal instant" he tried to recreate. Rarely do I get so pumped about an artist right off the bat like that. @Corazón very interesting - I'll have to watch the triptych again with your thoughts in mind. Initially I didn't necessarily see that exalted 'self' within Val del Omar's images, but looking at it that way makes sense, particularly in the time and place in which he was working. I would love to find out more too. The enormous imagination behind those films really drives home for me how Spain under Franco is still a bit of a 'black box', revealing new wonders all the time.
It's a shame that there's a huge lack of information (none) from this genius of Avant-Garde film-making in this site. To know more about his work, movies, projects, photography, collages, biography, essays, etc... Follow this link: http://www.valdelomar.com/home.php?lang=en
A description about his visual techniques (P.L.A.T., the use of lenses, montage, and deeper meaning of this work) and also sound wise (Diaphonic Sound, invented by him and predecessor of the Stereo Sound) would be also much appreciated. It would help a lot to all those people who want to get introduce properly in the work of this genius. The best avant garde fimmaker of Spanish History. Thank you so much for uploading this. MUBI was lacking a huge incredible filmmaker.