Nightshades Films : a set of queerly strange films...

NIGHTSHADES FILMS DVD

 

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NIGHTSHADES FILMS DVD

a set of queerly strange films...

Currently I'm preparing a DVD after receiving an invitation from an arts festival; it contains a selection of my films united by a number of themes, mainly linguistic estrangement, the trappings of society where the film medium plays a highly metaphorical role, distanciation and camp. Each of the entries contains a short description of the film. This DVD is available in PAL and NTSC. Some of the films are not intended for a general public because erotica is one of the guises the cultural estrangement uses to hide itself. These films are differentiated with an asterisk* so if you're offended easily, please don't watch them (the idea was never intended to offend people, even if they are all united by a desire to make you feel uncomfortable or unsure as suggested in the text of the opening film which can also be read below.

A STRANGE APPARITIONS DVD Booklet is now available to accompany the set of 8 films below. Texts and illustrations from the booklet are included on this page.

These films are a set of ‘strange apparitions’ united primarily by their adoption of the truly unusual language ‘Disfodish’.  They deliberately shift the frames of reference and desire connecting images, sounds, words acts and gestures to obfuscate clear definition.  They are truly queer music-theatre films that can be both frighteningly amusing and distantly sensual.  Functioning to question the sign systems that are traditionally seen as secure, they are presented on an axis which reveals them as unsettlingly vague or lacking in sense; physical acts, sounds, desires and urges are distanced from the subjects performing them by deliberately estranging them within frames; from language lessons to erotica & from silent films to pornography. Such frames, however, are merely tools used to assist the major alienating metaphor around which this set of films is based: language and the illusion of truth it creates (an illusion that queerness tends to question or destroy).  When the languages you use to piece together some sense of meaning are rendered ambiguous, just as the narrative forms that tend to follow an order are disobeyed, inverted and abused, no one would blame you for feeling a bit queer…

The following index provides in page access to each of the films

1 - DVD OPENING FILM & TEXT

2 - BLATFUGETIT ('page-turning')*

3 - THE CORRUPTED ENDEAVOUR

4 - THE PAINSTAKING CYCLE

5 - VUKMAGIT ('forcing')*

6 - VUTKLIDAS DRÄSHLIPIT ('Well-dressed Trio')*

7 - ZACHAR PLAYS GLASS : Metamorphosis One

8 - ZIZBILIT ('Do you like to play?')*

 

1 - DVD OPENING FILM & TEXT

Where some of the essential terminology of the film is revealed; frames are formed and dissolve and images which evoke on the one hand sensuality and sexuality and on the other linguistic structure and distance, are presented consecutively, dissolving in and out of one another, as a text providing the background to the film gradually slides up the screen on the left.

 

NAXTŠKIMIS VILMIT

Title of film company in original language
'Disprikfot' (Disfodish).

The first word is a compound noun in the genitive case formed by combining an adjective and a verb.

zgimet (intrans. verb)
[1] to shift, to scim, to slide uneasily
[2] to be unsure or insecure, to feel uneasy
[3] to have no definite signification

naxtas (adj.)
[1] nocturnal
[2] strangely vague; queer

Naxtshkimit
[1] an unsettling apparition
[2] a blurred or shifting frame
[3] a queer presence

NIGHTSHADES

Shifting the frames of reference and desire connecting images, sounds, words acts and gestures to obfuscate clear definition…
Nightshades become truly queer music-theatre films that can be funny and distant; strange and sensual…
That function to question the sign systems that should be secure but are revealed as unsettlingly vague or lacking in sense;
That separate the physical acts, sounds, desires and urges from the subjects performing them…
That reveal the very queerness of being by rendering ambiguous the languages we use to piece together some sense of meaning…
…and that sometimes defy interpretation or demand we alter the way we translate…

NIGHTSHADES FILMS

 

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2 - BLATFUGETIT ('page-turning')

BLATFUGETIT is a Disfodish noun which refers generally to the act of page-turning. It appears to be a silent film accompanied by suitable piano music; but as alternative meanings to the title are revealed and the film transforms into out-and-out pornography which deliberately defies its frame, this film begins to reveal its true message, that sex reminds us just fleetingly that we are not dead (yet)...

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3 - THE CORRUPTED ENDEAVOUR

In this film, a story-teller uses all types of communicative means available to him to communicate a narrative that seems to make sense but is revealed to be an empty set of signifiers that use cohesive markers to create the illusion of coherence.  Despite the havoc which is wreaked on his text, he goes on with his ridiculous story until finally the menacing musical structure takes over and provides its own coherence. This film uses images & texts by Edward Gorey.

 

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4 - THE PAINSTAKING CYCLE

 An advanced lesson in Disfodish begins by defining concepts that are revealed during the language lesson to explain the tragic death in the silent film which grows organically at the lesson’s conclusion.  The lesson’s contents are gradually translated and the protagonist is revealed to be typing a suicide letter; he longs to escape from a world dictated by word stems which force upon him the constant, painful and unstoppable cycles which go on without end or reason.

 

 5 - VUKMAGIT ['forcing']*

During the realization of this very sensual piece of pornography, a linguistic lesson is given in basic Disfodish including some grammatical concepts relating to how the title is formed, different nouns and verbs which are constructed from the word stems it consists of and ultimately all of the meanings of the title itself. Although you’d think the language is abstracted from the sensual narrative, a final connection is revealed as the film reaches its climax.

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6 - VUTKLIDAS DRÄSHLIPIT ('Well-dressed Trio')

Distanced by frames within frames, allusions to silent films and the use of original piano music, what is essentially an extended session of erotica becomes impossible to define as ‘pornographic’; it breaks all the rules and expectations of the genre and reveals itself as a piece of intricate beauty.

 

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7 - ZACHAR PLAYS GLASS : Metamorphosis One

This film revolves between two essential concepts: although time passes inevitably, music can change the way we perceive it.  The piano player is intimately bonded to the music; people don’t expect him to reflect the structure of the music in an intricately stylized set of movements, and it makes some people feel genuinely uneasy; at the same time it is an essential part of this film’s experience and is influenced by Javanese dance.

 

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8 - ZIZBILIT ('Do you like to play?')*

This film is essentially a stylized lesson in Disfodish, revealing important verbal structures and the similarity of two verbs which refer to contrasting aspects of the function being presented in the film: piano playing and pleasure. ‘ZIZBILET’ is a reflexive verb which can be used to refer to the playing of instruments; ZIBLIZIT, in comparison, is a noun which refers to ‘self-pleasure’ or ‘masturbation’.

 


 


May 2008 Nachtschimmen Music-Theatre-Language Nightshades, Ghent (Belgium)
Send mail to zachar@nachtschimmen.eu with questions or comments about this website.


Last modified: 27 November 2013

 

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