2007, 10:05, HDV/mini-DV/DVD. color, stereo sound
Leighton Pierce, an experimental filmmaker from Iowa City, Iowa, created this wondrous work back in 2007, way back when Sundance actually considered true experimental works, rather than just saying they do, and Number One appropriately found acclaim — and acclaim from the big festivals — Sundance, Tribeca, San Francisco International, Hong Kong Film Festival, Montreal Film Festival, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and it won the First Place Award at the Black Maria Film Festival. Leighton Pierce’s Number One film won Number One film — verily apposite!
Number One represents Pierce as being an eclecticist — and an editor who paints with a soft bush — who blends a wide array of images plucked from nature. Abstractions are the result of frame deconstruction, experiments in frame size and shape, the re-assemblage of the frame, and the juxtaposing movements of on-screen action and hand-held POV camera movements.
After viewing Number One, most will acknowledge the importance of its edit — any viewer, regardless of their film knowledge, detects that this is an outstanding edit, and they’re right — Pierce is a soigne film editor and I’m sure he has logged the hours. Only God knows how many hours were spent rendering fx, and re-editing, and then re-rendering, and re-rendering.
But all that rendering is worthwhile, because Pierce assembles complex frames, by way of advanced matting, masking, and time-displacement techniques. A complex, layered canvas is birthed — beautiful symmetry forms; nature incurs a face; liquid-fluid audio and shoreline rocks slow time; symmetry is exposed; and this film stands reminded of the symmetrical world we live in.