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Critics reviews
Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper
David Rimmer Canada, 1970
[It’s a short] in which a female factory worker, facing the camera, unwinds and flips a sheet of cellophane in fast undulating movements while an assaultive soundtrack magnifies the gesture to thunderous effect. As Rimmer subjects the footage to aural and chemical treatment, the woman is transformed into negative and ghostlike silhouettes, until the film is finally reduced to fleeting splotches of white floating against a black screen. It’s a perfect marriage of filmic clout and social comment.
October 03, 2016
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The reflection of the factory’s lights off of the thin plastic sheet at first disrupts the clarity of our focus on the young woman handling it, and eventually obscures the female subject beyond recognition as Rimmer’s photochemical processes take over. This material, at once translucent and reflective, ultimately becomes a fragmented beacon that persists as the only constant in a realm of variation.
September 12, 2013
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…An ingenious warbling and warping of a still frame through the dynamic movement of found footage flotsam featuring a young woman waving cellophane at the camera. Rimmer gradually complicates if not desecrates his first-stage cellophane-as-celluloid playfulness by pushing color and printing experiments with the source until its representations are nearly obliterated and what’s left is the tremulous abstract movement of the wrapper’s waves.
September 12, 2013
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Rimmer turns the motion study into an examination of the possibilities of hue and tint, the very particularity of color-reversal film in action. Together with a soundtrack that combines a semi-diegetic machine drone with an internal rumble, something the filmstrip itself might generate against the projector head, Variations explores multiple points of contact with cinema’s brute physicality. Rimmer made a film that expands, and he made it at a time when most others were hell-bent on reduction.
September 08, 2013
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