Paul Clipson

Paul Clipson is a San Francisco-based filmmaker who often collaborates with sound artists and musicians on films, live performances, and installations. His Super 8 and 16mm films aim to bring to light subconscious visual preoccupations that reveal themselves while working in a stream of consciousness manner, combining densely layered, in-camera edited studies of figurative and abstract environments, in a process that encourages unplanned-for results, responding to and conversing with the temporal qualities of musical composition and live performance. His work has screened around the world in festivals and at sound & film events such as the International Film Festival Rotterdam, The New York Film Festival and the Cinémathèque Française.

Project Statement: The filmmaker Fritz Lang famously once said of cinemascope: "It’s only good for funerals and snakes." This anamorphic process invented in France in 1926 by Henri Chrétien and popularized by commercial cinema of the 1950s, was originally an attempt to challenge the ubiquitous effect of television and its negative financial impact on the cinema-going public. Known as “cinemascope,” but also described as "widescreen," or by a number of other technical processes (Superscope, Techniscope, Technirama, VistaVision, Panavision, Wonderama, Todd-AO, Cinerama, and many others) that either replicate or use a wide range of other techniques to obtain similar results, the anamorphic process utilizes a special lens during filming which laterally compresses roughly twice as much information than normal onto a frame of motion picture film, which when projected with another anamorphic lens that stretches the image, creates a panoramic, or exceptionally wide frame. This compositional aspect ratio has been used to convey vast landscapes and vistas in sword and sandal epics, dystopian sci-fi fantasies, psychological spaghetti westerns, calamitous disaster films, Japanese samurai dramas, surrealist documentaries, and many other genres of narrative and experimental world cinema. This sound/film installation explores the abstract and formal capabilities of the anamorphic photographic process via superimposition and layering of sound and image.

16mm color film, cinemascope loop
10 min
Music by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma