5 October 2012

Our next installment for Random Acts is Lewis Klahr's The Moon has its Reasons. Utilising clippings of vintage magazines in a frame-by-frame collage, Klahr's short presents a picture of domestic discontent and strife in a relationship. This film has the melancholy charm and style of a noir, while the vintage clippings give a playful edge to Klahr's deft use of cultural clichés. The piece is elliptical in narrative, building its ideas through suggestion and association rather than traditional story telling, yet, The Moon has its Reasons presents a clear story that resonates with the universal themes of memory, subjectivity and romantic crisis.

Klahr likens his film language to hieroglyphics, as a kind of visual shorthand that stores our cultural memory. His use of magazine cut-outs, vintage comic books and mid 20th century advertisements allows him to frame his stories in a recognisable and highly accessible format, loaded with the mythology of mass culture.

Hear a message from Klahr on his film style in this youtube clip, in which he describes his first feature length collage film, The Pettifogger (2011). An abstract crime film, The Pettifogger is a hypnotic piece full of rich images. Klahr described some of his favourite stills for the Guardian.

In Klahr's earlier work, Pony Glass (1997), he takes the character of Jimmy Olsen (from the Superman comics) and presents the character in a saga of sexual awakening, a idea inspired by a Superman story in which Jimmy cross-dresses. This film challenges pop-culture stereotypes, displacing the character into an alternative cultural cliché and calling our attention to each. Moreover, the film is also beautifully crafted and fun to watch!

Patrick Brennan further discusses Klahr's work in his cinema blog The Man In The Green Rubber Suit.

The Moon has its Reasons premieres on Channel 4 on 5 October at 00.45am .

On 26 October, we'll be exploring the future of television as a shared space in the day-long forum Random Acts: Artists Interventions into Broadcast, tickets are just £10/£8. Places are limited so book your tickets here.