John Smith – The Girl Chewing Gum

The Girl Chewing Gum
(1976) 12 mins. B/W. Sound. 16mm.

“In The Girl Chewing Gum a commanding voice over appears to direct the action in a busy London street. As the instructions become more absurd and fantasised, we realise that the supposed director (not the shot) is fictional; he only describes – not prescribes – the events that take place before him. Smith embraced the ‘spectre of narrative’ (suppressed by structural film), to play word against picture and chance against order. Sharp and direct, the film anticipates the more elaborate scenarios to come; witty, many-layered, punning, but also seriously and poetically haunted by drama’s ineradicable ghost.” A.L. Rees, ‘A Directory of British Film & Video Artists’ 1995

I think I’ll try this one day.

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