Flickhead
Film Review
By Ray Young

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Zhanna

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Consume

A Film by Dominic Angerame

Starring Zhanna. 16mm, black and white/color, sound, 10 minutes. Audio: “Pomolusya” (“I Will Pray”, Ukrainian Prayer) and “Gamaya” (“Lead Us”, a Sanskrit mantra) performed by Zhanna, recorded and mastered by Zak May. Excerpts from “iLyricalî” and “iChaosî” from the tribe recording of Gabrielle Roth and the Mirrors (with permission from Raven Recording). Sound design by Amy Leigh Hunter.

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For more information contact

Dominic Angerame
Or Canyon Cinema
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    In Theodore Roszak’s novel, Flicker, there’s a manipulative device that’s been smuggled into Hollywood productions for over a hundred years. An ancient religious order believes that the flicker of the movies—the pulsating succession of still images projected to imply movement—is emblematic of the conflicting black and white, light and dark gods at war throughout their doctrine. They use the hypnotic flicker to cast a spell on heathens by sending a very different kind of movie, one that’s been methodically fused beneath the surface entertainment, directly into the mind of the viewer. (For Flickhead’s review of Flicker, click here.)
    Filmmaker Dominic Angerame was intrigued by Roszak’s theme and had intended that Consume “explore the images captured in the flickering light of multiple projector beams. By utilizing superimpositions within the camera, one could experience the pulsating light and explore hidden imagery through use of the ‘Sally Rand’ that Roszak refers to.” Sally Rand was a burlesque star in the 30’s, but the device named after her in the novel is a filter that strips away surface imagery to reveal an ‘underside,’ the unseen (but felt) heart of the picture.
    “However once production began,” the filmmaker recalls in a press kit interview, “the projector beams began to put both myself and my actress into a trance state due to the strobe light it presented.” The actress is Zhanna, who offers this quote from Brant Cortright on her website:

    “…Ultimately, the refinement in awareness leads to the perception that the self itself is something that is put together moment to moment through a series of very rapid images that seem to flicker by so quickly that there is the experience of a continuous self, just as the rapid flickering of still pictures in a movie gives us the experience of continuous movement.
    “The goal is to pierce through that illusion, to see that there are spaces between those images, and that in reality there is no stable enduring self.
    “It is this deeply experienced insight that liberates.”

    Set mostly to a soundtrack of chant and percussion, Consume displays an idea of ritual, a concept of dance, and depicts the elusive power of the projected image. It begins in a whirlwind of flickering scenes, at first anchored by Zhanna flashing back on herself dressed in street clothes and photographing us with a movie camera. Thereafter a succession of black and white portraits, multiple exposures, varying degrees of light and dark—over Zhanna’s face, mouth, eyes, body—are occasionally intruded by color. It probes to the wall of her skin. Like the obsessed photographer in Antonioni’s Blow-up, Angerame sharpens his focus until reality is blurred to an abstract magnification.

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Heightened reality: the final photograph of the body in Antonioni’s Blow-up

    To examine someone or something so intensely most often results in the loss of objectivity. Angerame comprehends the rhythm of his film’s progressive subjectivity as “a trance by natural evolution,” the eye relearning to processes movement, space and appearance. “It becomes an exploration into oneself and the sense of seeing and being at the same time...both an inward journey and an outward one…” Hence, Consume.