Close Up

21 May 2016: Guy Sherwin: Sound and Image


Guy Sherwin will screen a selection of his films made for single projector and discuss some unorthodox methods and strategies of working with sound and image. All films will be shown in their original 16mm format with optical sound except for Notes which was shot on Super 8mm then enlarged to 35mm. This will be the first screening in the UK of Notes in this format. The transfer was made in 2011 thanks to EYE Film Institute, Amsterdam.

Night Train
Guy Sherwin
1979 | 2 min | B/W | 16mm

"The sound of lights passing through a dark landscape seen from a moving train. Night Train is a timelapse film that reduces the journey from Birmingham to London to 2 minutes." – Guy Sherwin

"Night Train may be seen as continuing the Vertovian tradition of employing film to reveal phenomena not normally visible to the naked eye. Night Train was shot from a moving train at night, using time exposures of half a second per frame. The camera records passing lights as traces, so the nearer the objects to the train, the longer the trace. This results in the familiar travel experience whereby we appear to pass nearer objects faster than distant ones. here this translates into a black screen with abstract horizontal white lines, distant light sources making short feint lines, nearer ones long and bright lines." – Nicky Hamlyn

Guy Sherwin
1979 | 2 min | Colour | 35mm

The microphone is attached to a stick protruding from the camera, and kept just out of sight. This image-and-sound-gathering device is used to "play" the open strings of a piano. The camera brushes across them, leaving individual strings quivering in response.

Guy Sherwin
1976-2000 | 4 min | B/W | 16mm

An industrial chimney seen from a passing train, edited in phased repetitions of image and sound. Originally part of the Short Film Series, entitled Chimney, a soundtrack was added in 2000

Da Capo
Guy Sherwin
1975-2000 | 12 min | B/W | 16mm

Variations on a train with Anna. Several interpretations of a prelude by J.S. Bach accompany a repeated shot taken from a train leaving a station.

Guy Sherwin
1998 | 4 min | B/W | 16mm

"Flight is a four minute work made from a tiny fragment of film of pigeons, semi-silhouetted in trees, shot with a long lens. The imagery has been slowed-down and sometimes stopped, using an optical printer to re-work the original." – Nicky Hamlyn

Filter Beds
Guy Sherwin
1998 | 9 min | B/W | 16mm

Images of reeds, wires, birds and trees emerge and disappear as attention shifts from one plane to another. Made at the site of the disused Middlesex Filter Beds in east London.

"A delicate study of a tangle of scrub and trees. A very shallow depth of field causes branches and stalks of wild grasses to emerge and disappear as Sherwin racks focus, settling on the jet planes sweeping across an impossibly distant sky. The soft rich grain of the muted image lends it a dreamlike timelessness." – Brian Frye