Dominic Angerame on Making "Consume"

Dominic Angerame May 31, 2006

"I will pray for those who are suffering / May their gloom and fears dissolve…" (excerpt from a Ukranian prayer).

Inspired by the novel "Flicker" by Theodore Roszak, this film was intended to explore the images captured in the flickering light of multiple projector beams. By utilizing superimpositions within the camera, one could experience the pulsating light and explore hidden imagery through use of the "Sally Rand" that Roszak refers to. Sally Rand was a burlesque star in the ’30s, but the device named after her in the novel is a filter that strips away surface imagery to reveal an "underside," the unseen (but felt) heart of the picture.

However, once production began … the projector beams began to put both myself and my actress into a trance state due to the strobe light it presented … the resulting film turned into a trance by natural evolution and in essence the film becomes even more.

Zhanna would come over once a week and we would shoot a "test" roll. Each subsequent roll became more and more elaborate with the complex superimpositions that would be explored developed and expanded upon.

I introduced a roll of color 16mm film, with surprising results, and it revealed a complete deconstructing of the human body so that it became unrecognizable. After shooting two rolls of the color film, I decided to contact print it onto black-and-white high contrast and found that the image deconstructed even more, so that the footage came an abstract blur of black-and-white painting, like brush strokes. The resulting visual experience throws the viewer directly into the flickering light that belongs uniquely to motion picture filmmaking. So the film becomes an exploration into the very nature of the cinematic experience itself as well as an exploration into oneself and the sense of seeing and being at the same time … both an inward journey and an outward one…

Starring Zhanna. Pomolusya (I Will Pray) Ukranian Prayer performed by Zhanna, recorded and mastered by Zak May. Excepts from "Lyrical" and "Chaos" from the "Tribe" recording of Gabrielle Roth and the Mirrors with permission from Raven Recording. "Consume" plays in a San Francisco Cinematheque program of Angerame’s work at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on June 4.