Saturday 16 May 2009

John Smith - Associations

I remember going to a Friday lecture some time last year to see John Smith, who is a very renowned experimental film maker. This piece in particular raised quite a few issues which seem to be relevant to the area of investigation in which I'm heading.

John Smith - Associations (1975)

Images from magazines and color supplements accompany a spoken text taken from Herbert H. Clark's "Word Associations and Linguistic Theory" (in New Horizons in Linguistics, ed. John Lyons,1970). By using the ambiguities inherent in the English language, Associations sets language against itself. Image and word work together and against each other to destroy and create meaning.

"Associations is a straightforward rebus—a game in which words are replaced by pictures. But the text is so dense with contemporary linguistic theory, and the combination of visual puns so extensive, that a simple, unique reading of the film is impossible."
—A.L. Rees, Unpacking 7 Films (1980)

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