Berlin Horse

Berlin Horse

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MALCOLM LE GRICE’S ‘BERLIN HORSE’

By Catherine Jessica Beed

Malcolm Le Grice’s canonical 1970 avant-garde film Berlin Horse was his first full-length experiment with manipulation of the image. The film is essentially combined in two parts. The first, a small sequence of footage of running horses, intially shot in 8mm colour, later refilmed in 16mm black and white, and the second part, segments from an early film The Burning Stable (1896). Both sections were treated by Le Grice with the same process. His black and white footage was subjected to multiple superimposition using colour filters, creating a fluid ever-changing solarized image. He describes the effect of this process as ‘[working] in its own time abstractly from the image’.

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