SPLIT DECISION (1979)

This film is a scrambled narrative that illustrates, in soap opera fashion, life of artists in Lower Manhattan and at the same time dramatizes questions about the nature of filmic representation. Split decision is a boxing term used when the judges divide their votes in finding a winner. In this case the fight is between the two heroes of the film who are seen intermittently in a bar, negotiating a pick-up, and at home, breaking up in a domestic quarrel. The fight is also in the telling, between modes of conventional representation and modes of radical representation - between conventional continuity editing, and abstraction created through computer generated grids.  The film features an appearance by Carolee Schneemann and digital imaging from before the era of personal computers.

16mm | color | sound | 15 min

“The fact that the film embraces narrative shows how far Brand has come since emerging in the early ‘70’s as a virtuoso of American structural cinema.  ‘Split Decision’ may go down in history as the first-ever topological melodrama, combining a witty scenario on conversational ambivalence with a frenzy of visual ambivalence, produced by fragmentation of the image into a kind of spatio-temporal mosaic.”

- Time Out, London,  July 13-19, 1979

FILMS / ART WORKS

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