In the darkened, cavernous space of the Tate's Turbine Hall a 13 metre screen stands. Not only does this impressive piece stand as a moving tribute to the demise of analogue filmaking, but also, in its own right, successfully commands the space with an ambition comparable to Olafur Eliason's 'The Weather Project' (in which the Turbine Hall was basked in the HUUUUGE orange glow of a recreated sun). Both exhibitions/installations genuinely invigorate the daunting hangar-like space with a simple, but memorably affecting, vision. Watching the stretched screen flick between the industrial cigar of a monolithic chimney, to lapping waves on a shoreline, sprouting mushrooms, abstract colours, escalator steps and the slow inquisition of a snail on a leaf...all conspire to create a beautiful and surreal cinematic poem. The screen is utilized not conventionally as a simple window on to the world view-but instead seems aware of its static property as an installation, becoming at times like a moving portrait-painting realised in motion...at times very tangibly like a window (not an unreflexive, unquestioning window on to the world eye), fragmented into stain glass cathedral gravitas. Even bored toddlers scurrying around the empty and dark hall couldnt detract from the magic. If anything their tiny sillhouettes, scuttling in sugar high circles, served to further enhance the monumental size and power of the screen. Running right up to the 13 foot cinematic beast, unlike their musing and dull parental counterparts, the children enhanced the viewing-unwittingly evoking the interactive power of cinema.
Although the film/digital change has long been on the cards...and it is woefully far from me to have any stumbling clue about the intricate history... and general facts of the whole...thing. It is clear enough that instead of simply being a change of economic advantage and advanced versatility, it will mark a definite shift in the aesthetic properties,style and editing nature of films to come. I have no overwhelming romantic attachment to the warmth or look of film over new digitalized approaches (as I am not a self proclaimed cinephile...but rather a procrastinator with a love of films...and a dangerous addiction to amazon purchases), but it seems significant to realise and consider this change with the attention and time it deserves. The style and approach to watching film, and making film, are changing with all the agility of the morph-tastic opening credits of David Fincher's remake of 'The Girl With Dragon Tattoo'...things be movin' quick...and in such breathless times the ability to sit down and absorb the atmosphere, scale, and beauty of the Tacita Dean film offers a much needed pause for contemplation.