Next in the series of rooftop screenings at The Sunday Painter is the premiere of a new project by Sam Austen, Angry Film.
Angry Film is a delicately handcrafted work that blends the sights and sounds of the area surrounding the artist’s studio with his ongoing fascination with the fantastical landscapes of science fiction and the early pioneers of abstract cinema such as Len Lye and Oskar Fischinger.
The result is a film that flirts with the possibility of some meaningful narrative whilst at the same time presenting us with seemingly meaningless, punchy monosyllabic words and commands as well as surreal collaged and overlapping sentences.
Watching Angry Film, I’m instantly reminded of the times I spent in New York or Las Vegas, and a late night taxi journey through town with the bright city lights flashing by, blurring through the steamed up windows and the collision of car horns and the bluesy, echoing sounds of a saxophone as we cross over a bridge. I’ve never been to New York or Las Vegas, or anywhere in America for that matter but Angry Film demonstrates one of the remarkable abilities of cinema, in being able to transport the viewer to these places you may never have been and the lending of memories of events you have never witnessed.
The hysteric and quick fire manner in which the film and the accompanying soundtrack (Kugan Vijayatharan) chops and changes direction and emotion brings to mind the work of Canadian animator John Kricfalusi and his most famous creation; The Ren & Stimpy Show. This attention grabbing, billboard style presentation looks and feels familiar, but something’s not quite right… There are no flashy cars or half naked models, just a collision of text and abstract shapes. In the same way that Austen has this undeniable ability to transform the most basic techniques and materials into something dreamlike and ethereal, here too, stripped of their context the words and letterforms come to possess some strange and hypnotic power all of their own.