Dinca — contemporary art blog

A Music Video Like None Other: Black and White Trypps Number Three by Ben Russell

This post embeds two lovely music videos by Ben Russell, an eminent Chicago-based experimental filmmaker, known for his Black and White Trypps series and the recent experimental ethnopgraphy, Let Each One Go Where He May (2009). There are a number of reasons why these two films defy a classification, namely, they are captured on film, not video. Black and White Trypps Number Three (2007, embedded below) was shot on 35mm; Rock Me Amadeus by Falco Via Kardinal by Otto Muehl (2009, embedded above) was shot on 16mm film. Whether it be 35mm, 16mm, 8mm, black/white or color, a music video shot on film looks volumes better than a music video shot on video. Film captures sunlight on celluloid; film is warm.

The above video is an avant-garde kareokee performance between filmmaker Ben Russell and Celeste Neus. The film observes the sticky-synergy between the two as they rock to Falco’s lengendary 1983 hit “Rock Me Amadeus.” This film ponders humiliation of some sort — preparation, then humiliation — other than that, it’s strikingly similar to the original Falco video. Five Stars, verily.

Black and White Trypps Number Three captures a live-performance from Providence-based band Lightning Bolt. Although we’re at the show, we only catch a glimpse of the two-piece band, that being the neck of a bass guitar. We don’t see the band; we see the audience, we hear the music, and we see how the music affects the audience.

They say film can only capture sight and sound; however, these films capture more. Plus, music can speak louder than words. If you haven’t heard Lightning Bolt, try listening to the mp3s below — they bring the light from above to the below. It’s a heavy feeling in a good whey.

[audio:https://dinca.org/music/2-towers.mp3] [audio:https://dinca.org/music/crown-of-storms.mp3] [audio:https://dinca.org/music/fleeing-in-the-valley-of-whirling-knives.mp3]

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