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Etrog on Filmmaking

As a sculptor and painter, I was always preoccupied with visual equivalents for man’s basic experiences. In painting and sculpture, I was arresting a situation at a certain moment. The nature of film is images eating images. I eliminated verbal dialogue and natural sound effects, relying on the impact of visual situations. I hoped to create a dialogue between the images and situation on one hand, and the public on the other, at a level where the public is actually completing the work through their participation and interpretation.

Etrog’s 1974 Film Spiral

At first, I made the film silent, but after hearing the outstanding Cello Concerto No. 1 by Dmitri Shostakovich, it became a great challenge to have that music as a companion to my film. The title of the film is Spiral. MAN – TIME. TIME – MAN. Nothing new.

View a 3 minute excerpt from Etrog’s 1974 film, Spiral. This film contains scenes of nudity. Viewer discretion is advised.

Sorel Etrog, Spiral, 1974
16mm film (black and white, sound, 3 min excerpt, 30 mins total.)
Music: Cello Concerto No. 1 by Dmitri Shostakovich
On loan from Sorel Etrog

Etrog on the meaning of Spiral:

Spiral is based on personal observations and translated into poetic equivalents which deal with the intensity of man’s basic experiences – some lived, some imagined, not necessarily in a chronological order or about a specific man. In my film, birth and death run parallel. The ambulance is a metaphor. Danger is always there. Survivors are not heroes. For man, time is an albatross; for the child, a toy.

Sorel Etrog, 1975

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