Saturday, 25 June 2011
Wednesday, 8 June 2011
These few images, from John Gianvito's Vapor Trail (Clark), are part of a montage which is one of the many inserted in the film as part of its dialectic between history and the present. Gianvito's approach is particularly enriching in that not only does it avoid a linear vision of history and narration, it also, as a consequence of this, points out the multiplicity and intricacy of causes behind any one situation.
But in this particular case, it does something else, too. The montage of pictures of American soldiers fighting, or ready to fight, belongs to one of the two archetypes of war photography (the other one being that of the dead bodies). What remains off-screen in both cases is the other side (the enemy firing back ; the soldier who killed the victim) as an active agent, interacting in the same sphere and time frame as the subject being photographed. Gianvito, by inscribing this sequence in his dialectic of present (oral narratives) and history (narratives based on documents), enables a similar dialectic to take place between the images being shown and what their off-screen (hors-champ) reality is : he extends the simple frame of the picture and includes the present reality of the Philippines as the direct but un-represented off-screen space of those marines, a deployment through not only space (the other side of the war line) but also time.