An old phonograph assembles itself, plays songs on wax drums before self destructing. In many ways The Phonograph is a companion piece to Renaissance, there is nevertheless something quietly affecting about Borowczyk’s final ‘object’ animation.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Borowczyk, like Beckett, knows that after the Great War we can't go home again. Western Civilization is already over - we just keep obsessively digging among the wreckage. Formally, a perfect little study in object defamiliarisation. Some of the framings recall interwar Devětsil photographs by the likes of Jan Lukas or Vera Gabrielova.
It's interesting to see how an old phonograph works in motion; I also love how the scenes lead us to see things in a more detailed perspective, such as the interlocking wood corner of a phonograph or the face of a girl in a picture.
Pour qui possède un gramophone, il est fort intéressant d'observer les rouages techniques de ce qui a précédé les disques 78 tours. En alternant les gros plans sur l'appareil, sur la collection de cylindres de cire et sur l'ancienne photographie d'une petite fille, le film dégage une jolie nostalgie, une certaine tristesse poétique, devant la disparition progressive des traces visuelles et sonores de cette époque.
Interesting, abstract work that gives lots of room for interpretation. Nicely shot in colour, introduces us to the inner workings of a phonograph; a reminder of the time long gone, quite nostalgic. The 6 minute format feels like a perfect choice.
Rating Renaissaince I asked for more of that stuff. And well, I guess this should be it – except there was nothing to film (or animate) here. You're just supposed to sit there, watching again and again the same three semi-static shots for minutes. No thanks.