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Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Gregory J. Markopoulos | Bliss and Gammelion
castle of hallucinations
by Douglas Messerli
Gregory J. Markopoulos, “The Films of Gregory J. Markopoulos: Bliss and Gammelion / Redcat (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, Monday, April 6, 2015
The six-minute long Bliss by American-born filmmaker Gregory Markopoulos is what one might almost describe as a sped-up snapshot portrait of the interior of a Byzantine church on the Island of Hydra in Greece. The film, the first made after Markopoulos, with his lover, filmmaker Robert Beavers, had left the US behind for Greece, represented the new kind of film-making the director had developed in early 1966, wherein he constructed short films entirely in-camera, without subsequent editing.
Yet, anyone acquainted with the Gracq work cannot help but be reminded of the hallucinatory quality of the book itself, as each of the fiction’s figures attempt to make sense of and comprehend each other and their relationships within the confines of Albert’s castle. If Markopoulos’ work can at all be described as a narratively coherent work, it is in its procedures rather than in terms of characters or plot. Indeed there are no characters and there is no story to Gammelion except of the viewer’s own making. And yet, I came away having the feeling that I had experienced a near mystical tale, my eyes still blinking for the intrusions the screening purposely had put upon any of my own determined intentions to connect. The logic of the conscious mind, quite obviously, are suspect.
Los Angeles, April 7, 2015