AMERIKA - Film catalog below contains films and videos in distribution (as DVDs).
16mm film sales are restricted to available film prints. See DVD Sales for titles currently available on DVD video.
Listings for films - videos no longer in general distribution can be found in the 'Film - Video Archive'

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AMERIKA

A film by Al Razutis (1972-1983)

SINGLE SCREEN LENGTH 170 min. - THREE-SCREEN LENGTH 56 min.

AMERIKA  is a "feature-length experimental film which was created one reel at a time to function as a mosaic that expresses the various sensations, myths, landscapes of the industrialized Western culture (1960's -1980's) through the eyes of media-anarchism and avant-garde film techniques." (AR)


click for AMERIKA film stills page - separate window
AMERIKA film stills
2006 DVD source
click for VIDEO - Ilmin Museum of Art installation of AMERIKA
AMERIKA 3-screen gallery installation
,
2004 Seoul, Korea (.wmv 30 sec. video)
click for AMERIKA poster by Samantha Hamerness-Coombs
AMERIKA poster
,
by Samantha Hamerness-Coombs

1 min. excerpt video
on YouTube:
(6 min. into 3-screen film)

Amerika - 3 screen -  by Al Razutis - 2 min.excerpt on YouTube 6 minutes into 3 screen film

1 min. excerpt video
on YouTube:
(15 min. into 3-screen film)

Amerika - 3 screen -  by Al Razutis - 1 min.excerpt on YouTube 15 minutes into 3 screen film

2 min. excerpt video
on YouTube:
(33 min. into 3-screen film)

Amerika - 3 screen -  by Al Razutis - 2 min.excerpt on YouTube 33 minutes into 3 screen film

2 min. excerpt video
on YouTube:
(40 min. into 3-screen film)

Amerika - 3 screen -  by Al Razutis - 1 min.excerpt on YouTube 40 minutes into 3 screen film


Critical discussions on the film 'AMERIKA' and filmmaker:

Quick links to: AMERIKA - REEL ONE ------ AMERIKA - REEL TWO ------ AMERIKA - REEL THREE


'AMERIKA' REEL ONE - component segments/films:

Quick links to individual films in Reel One below:

'The Cities of Eden', 'Head Title / Software', 'Vortex', 'Atomic Gardening ',
'Motel Row - 1', '98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm''
, 'Motel Row - 2', 'Runway Queens', 'Refrain',

 

THE CITIES OF EDEN

8 min. sepia color 1976

1 min. excerpt video on YouTube:

THE CITIES OF EDEN excerpt on YouTube

The Cities of Eden (Amerika) film by Al Razutis

Reconstructed from turn-of the century footage, an ironic vision of high industrial pomp and pageantry - in substantial shadows of ancient prerogatives engulfed by history. Original historic footage from eras long past is rendered as 'bas relief' in changing sepia tones of photo-textural kind which ends in fiery infernos of image and destruction.

Sections include: 'The Cities of Eden', 'The Parades of Eden', 'The Queens of Eden','The Amusements of Eden', 'The Machines of Eden' and 'The Closing Night of Eden' which are presented as separate visual narratives, ending with 'and then We shall start anew"...."east of Eden".

Individually featured in international exhibitions, retrospectives

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

The Cities of Eden (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
The Cities of Eden (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
The Cities of Eden (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
The Cities of Eden (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
The Cities of Eden (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
The Cities of Eden (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
The Cities of Eden (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
The Cities of Eden (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
The Cities of Eden (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
The Cities of Eden (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
The Cities of Eden (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
The Cities of Eden (Amerika) film by Al Razutis

HEAD TITLE / SOFTWARE

3 min. color 1972

head title for the film Amerika by Al Razutis 1972-1983
Head title of Amerika is presented as placeholder, with video screens awaiting programs.

In the short film Software, the pixel lights of the industrialized world (electrical power) are re-formed in the speckles and patterned light of the video screen -- a metaphor for energy as information transfer, but still at the service of the power structure.

In the collection of the National Gallery of Canada

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

Software  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Software  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Software  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Software  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis

VORTEX

14 min. color 1972

1 min. excerpt video on YouTube:

VORTEX excerpt on YouTube

Vortex (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
In VORTEX, the intense subjectivity of techno-psychedelia converges with the technological gamesmanship of the space race.

This film-video hybrid, created from experiments in film and video image manipulation, features some of the earliest analog video synthesizer processing combined with film optical printing and driven by a pulsating ARP synthesizer soundtrack. Analog synthesis as precussor to digital effects. The subject matter, however, is 'space' and extinction.

Individually featured in international exhibitions, retrospectives
In the collection of Edith-Ruß-Haus für Medienkunst, Oldenburg, Germany

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

Vortex (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Vortex (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Vortex (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Vortex (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Vortex (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Vortex (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Vortex (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Vortex (Amerika) film by Al Razutis

ATOMIC GARDENING

6 min. color 1981

ATOMIC GARDENING

Dropping in on a ballistic missle launch, overheard as NORAD missle control chatter and countdown, we see visuals of biological mutation in the eerie white light of nuclear annihilation and macro time-lapse of strange crystaline growth on NATO integrated-circuit boards submerged in underwater wreckage.

While the audiblecrew prepares to laungh a nuclear ICBM, circuit boards grow tentacle-like crystals while undergoing decay in some underwater wreckage of parts and circuits. The confidence of 'nuclear preparadness' is contrasted with the natural processes of 'nothing lasts' and 'all is subject to decay and extinction'.

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

Atomic Gardening (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Atomic Gardening (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Atomic Gardening (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Atomic Gardening (Amerika) film by Al Razutis

MOTEL ROW - Part One

8 min. color 1982

2 min. excerpt video on YouTube:

MOTEL ROW 1 excerpt on YouTube

Motel Row Part 1 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A vision of the the wasteland, and absence, of image industries, time-capsuled and entombed in our ruined cities. 'Messages to whom?' scrawled on graffiti walls.

'West-Coast' and 'East-Coast' necropolis with inner chambers populated by glowing monitors and historical, mythical, and mystical referents. 'The Somnambulism of the Rich' obsessed with after-life and 'Egyptian' mythos.

'Cameo' appearances by the grave-robbers of 'Wolfman' (sound) and Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

Motel Row Part 1  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Motel Row Part 1  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Motel Row Part 1  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Motel Row Part 1  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Motel Row Part 1  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Motel Row Part 1  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Motel Row Part 1  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Motel Row Part 1  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis

98.3 KHz: (BRIDGE AT ELECTRICAL STORM

13 min. color 1973


1 min. 30 sec. video
on YouTube:

BRIDGE AT ELECTRICAL STORM excerpt on YouTube
1 min. 40 sec. video
on YouTube:

BRIDGE AT ELECTRICAL STORM excerpt on YouTube

 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis

The suspension bridge as electromagnetic tower, antenna for sixty years of radio waves and engulfed in video storm. A spatial image of the transition from an industrial society linked by transport to a post industrial society linked by communications. The film is segmented into 'two parts' and appears in two places in Amerika.

A repeating journey across the San Francisco Bay Bridge becomes a journey into disintegrating visuals, video transformation, with an accompanying sound track taken from "40 years of Radio".  As a film, it anticipated the end of the film medium, and the emergence of the video medium.

Synaesthetic and 'structural films broke new ground in the experimental film 70's and the film-video 'hybrid' violated that 'special insularity' (the separation by media) that both film and video artists of that time enjoyed.

As a single element of AMERIKA, 98.3 KHz: ( Bridge at Electrical Storm has garnered the most festival awards and exposure.

Individually featured in international exhibitions, retrospectives.

Essay by Bruce Jenkins
on Bridge at Electrical Storm for Magnetic North Exhibition catalog
(jpeg images of successive pages - 200k per page)

In the collection of Edith-Ruß-Haus für Medienkunst, Oldenburg, Germany
In the collection of the National Gallery of Canada

Part 1 - appearing in REEL ONE - film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis

Part 2 - appearing in REEL TWO - film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis

MOTEL ROW (Part 2)

12 min. color 1980

 Motel Row - Part 2 (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
It's a drive-by journey through Vegas style landscapes where sexual recreation and libidinal flow frozen into electronic signs and signals, voyeurism and commodity, image consumption, and sounds from the mediascape. As if continuing from 'The Wasteland and Other Stories', its drives through deserts and into the amusements of Vegas, this film features long tracking shots of the 'motel row' of Reno, Nevada, and Vegas, interspersed with 'adult tv' (pornography clips), worthy of an 'motel'.

Point of view is voyeuristic, seemingly indifferent, yet scannin the sidewalks for 'something'. This voyage of alienation culminates within and without a motel room, in a electronic burlesque sequence ('Runway Queens') which teases the viewer with synaesthetics and the female grind.


Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

 Motel Row - Part 2 (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 Motel Row - Part 2 (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 Motel Row - Part 2 (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 Motel Row - Part 2 (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 Motel Row - Part 2 (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 Motel Row - Part 2 (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 Motel Row - Part 2 (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 Motel Row - Part 2 (Amerika) film by Al Razutis

RUNWAY QUEENS

5 min. color 1974

ATOMIC GARDENING

This short film video hybrid, combining film and video processing (colorizing, feedback, mixing, quantizing) saturates the viewer's sensorium with colors and echoes and the burlesque grinds of the 1940 and 1950's dancers as recorded on historical footage. The 'motel' viewer checks out the past, while turning up the dials on the video-synthetic future.

With the beginnings of video and art in the 60's, dance and the nude female body have figured prominently. Accompanied by music from those burlesque eras.

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

Runway Queens  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Runway Queens  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Runway Queens  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Runway Queens  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis

REFRAIN(S)

Various durations - various subjects - 1982-3

Refrain  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
REFRAIN(S) is a moment, or a series of moments, on 'theoretically informed reflection' - lampooning the conceits of Film Theory and Film Analysis (dominated in the 80's by 'feminist 'psychoanalysis of the cinema' - Mulvey, Penley, et al.), as well as the 'ideological disconnects' resulting from switching reference and source.

Each REFRAIN combines a disconnected - reconnected soundtrack from Vaudeville radio shows and comedy shows with images from the film (as ground) and an on-screen 'bozo' - a ventrilloquist rubber dummy - as figure. We hear audio skits, including Charley MaCarthey doing the 'Marylin' we were 'made for each other' skit. The sign of things to come in the future hives of web meanings, where cause and effect (signifier/signified) can become interchangeable or freely manipulated.

Refrain  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Refrain  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Refrain  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
Refrain  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis

Other Refrains

Page TOP

Quick links to: AMERIKA - REEL ONE ------ AMERIKA - REEL TWO ------ AMERIKA - REEL THREE


AMERIKA REEL TWO FILMS:

Quick links to individual films in Reel Two below:

'The Wasteland and Other Stories', 'Refrain 2', 'Motel Row 3', '98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Sorm 2',
'The Wildwest Show', 'A Message from Our Sponsor''
, 'Photo Spot / Terminal Cityscapes'

only on DVD

THE WASTELAND AND OTHER STORIES

15 min. color 1976

The Wasteland and Other Stories   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Travel as mediated spectacle, a time lapse journey from Vancouver to Reno and Las Vegas Nevada; speed as stasis, abstraction, violence, culminating in a 'televised abduction and police chase at the border' and a 'letter to home'. Within this long, high-speed with time-lapse drive through deserts and neon wastelands of 'Amerika', we can ask: 'Who is the voyeur, who kidnaps who, who is cruising the boulevards, and who is the object of the gaze'?

The opening subtitles, paraphrasing film theories of 'subjectivity' and 'voyeurism', allude to a narrative that is 'perverse', and 'male'.

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

 

The Wasteland and Other Stories   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wasteland and Other Stories   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wasteland and Other Stories   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wasteland and Other Stories   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wasteland and Other Stories   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wasteland and Other Stories   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wasteland and Other Stories   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wasteland and Other Stories   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wasteland and Other Stories   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wasteland and Other Stories   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wasteland and Other Stories   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wasteland and Other Stories   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis

REFRAIN(S)

Various durations - subjects - 1982-3

1 min. excerpt video on YouTube:

REFRAIN and MOTEL 3 excerpt on YouTube

Refrain(s) - Part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
REFRAIN(S) is a moment, or a series of moments, on 'theoretically informed reflection' - lampooning the conceits of Film Theory and Film Analysis (dominated in the 80's by something termed 'psychoanalysis of the cinema' - Mulvey, Penley, et al.) Theoretical film questions are posed, and answered through visual ventriloquism and a dummy standing in for the implied 'subject' of 'discourse' and the 'gaze'.

Each REFRAIN(S) combines a disconnected - reconnected soundtrack from Vaudeville radio shows with images from the film (as ground) and an on-screen 'bozo' dummy (as figure). Not for the 'theoretically uninformed'.

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

Refrain(s) - Part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Refrain(s) - Part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Refrain(s) - Part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Refrain(s) - Part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Refrain(s) - Part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Refrain(s) - Part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Refrain(s) - Part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Refrain(s) - Part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis

Other Refrains


MOTEL ROW (Part 3)

5 min. color 1981

Motel Row - Part 3 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis

Flash-forward or flash-backwards to abandonment, desolation. Empty amusement park(s) of childhood's (and AMERIKA's) 'past', past walls of corporate graffiti, with sounds emanating from the lost era of the 'amusements of Eden'.

Presented as 'photo negatives' portraying empty spaces, shapes, and places now vaguely 'familiar'.

 

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

Motel Row - Part 3 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Motel Row - Part 3 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Motel Row - Part 3 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Motel Row - Part 3 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Motel Row - Part 3 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Motel Row - Part 3 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Motel Row - Part 3 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Motel Row - Part 3 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis


98.3 KHZ: (BRIDGE AT ELECTRICAL STORM (Part 2)

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
 98.3 KHz: (Bridge at Electrical Storm (Amerika) film by Al Razutis

(See film description above in Part 1)

THE WILDWEST SHOW

12 min. color 1980

1 min. excerpt video on YouTube:

THE WILDWEST SHOW - excerpt on YouTube

The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis

WILDWEST SHOW re-tells a "day in the life" of "Television City" - an urban landscape that features the most exaggerated moments of Western history iconically portrayed in large motion-picture billboards (the shape of things to come).

The main vehicle for the narrative is the game show format, where players attempt to surmise whether the question posed is true or false. We witness a visual panorama that includes footage of stunts, science fiction, war, atrocity, natural disasters, news, and commercial interuptions. This is a society in which origins of messages are lost, truths are indistinguishable from lies. The society itself, one could say, has lost it, lost a sense of meaning, proportion, authenticity. The film re-states the persistent question: "Did Amerika really look like this?"

Individually featured in international exhibitions, retrospectives.

Part 1 'The Wildwest Show' - appearing before A MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSOR
- film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis


(END Part 1 - Part 2 'The Wildwest Show' - appears after A MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSOR)

A MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSOR

9 min. color 1979

1 min. excerpt video on YouTube:

A MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSOR - excerpt on YouTube

A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis

A Message from Our Sponsor, a 'commercial' that interrupts 'The Wildwest Show', deals with television and its mythologies - the fetishization of violence through competition (seen as a dominant historical process in American culture), and the fetishization of sexuality through consumption. The film uses only 'appropriated footage' (unlicensed, copied, etc.)

The claustrophobia of media "reality" - compartmentalized into game shows, movies, news reports, commercials - is presented as continuous interchangeable spectacle. This film looks at the ideology of misrepresentation, the turning of facts into icons, history into myth. It analyzes the media's metalanguage, especially the image of woman as spectacle and commodity; and the psychology and economics of male voyeurism.

This film was banned ( due to some brief hard-core sequences) in Ontario, and Alberta Canada in the 1980's, and resulted in court actions, arrests of Canadian Images Film Festival organizers (at Peterborough, Ontario), and a Supreme Court of Canada ruling in favor of the film - a rulling that effectively dismantled the powers of the Ontario Board of Censors.

Individually featured in international exhibitions, retrospectives.

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
A Message from Our Sponsor   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis

2012 Film Exhibitions of 'A Message from Our Sponsor'

Historical - critical essay on censorship of this film: Regina vs... (Opsis, 1984)

In the collection of the National Gallery of Canada

Part 2 'The Wildwest Show' - appearing after A MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSOR
- film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

 

The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Wildwest Show   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis



PHOTO SPOT / TERMINAL CITYSCAPES

10 min. color 1983

1 min. excerpt video on YouTube:

PHOTO SPOT - excerpt on YouTube

Photo Spot / Terminal Cityscapes   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The filmmaker, as reluctant host, confronts his audience (art historian, film critic, marxist ideologue, psychoanalyst) taking calls and responding to the off-screen callers. The incidents are named: Fault Line Spot, Imago Photo Spot, Berlin Spot, Anthopomorphic Haven, and Number Seven Spot. As the calls become more critical of the filmmaker and his works, we hear Al exclaim that he is going to 'crack up' if he 'can't finish this film', and that 'no, he isn't sick' in the head like the caller suggests.

The direct, personal intrusion of the filmmaker's voice is set against scientific charts about visual perception and film chemistry, and optically constructed scenes linked by the concepts of the photogenic and the pervasiveness of perceptual/technical "error."

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

Photo Spot / Terminal Cityscapes   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Photo Spot / Terminal Cityscapes   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Photo Spot / Terminal Cityscapes   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Photo Spot / Terminal Cityscapes   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Photo Spot / Terminal Cityscapes   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Photo Spot / Terminal Cityscapes   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Photo Spot / Terminal Cityscapes   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Photo Spot / Terminal Cityscapes   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Photo Spot / Terminal Cityscapes   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Photo Spot / Terminal Cityscapes   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Photo Spot / Terminal Cityscapes   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Photo Spot / Terminal Cityscapes   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis

[TOP OF PAGE]

 


AMERIKA REEL THREE FILMS:

'Exiles', 'The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown Part 1 & 2 ', '(FIN)*', 'O Kanada!', End Titles

only on DVD

EXILES

10 min. color 1983

1 min. excerpt video on YouTube:

EXILES  excerpt on YouTube

Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis

Urban 'deconstruction' and graffiti is presented as a form of guerilla warfare against current "industry standards" for society, political organization, and cinema; as a form of resistance to the ideologies of naturalism and biologism, and 'film narrative'. Starring Samantha Hamerness-Coombs and Lincoln Clarkes.

Soundrack of soundscapes by Tony Giacinti and appropriated 'Black Angel's Death Song' (Velvet Underground - Lou Reed vocal) accompanies the shots of urban decay, graffiti, and light-color flaring of images (like when the can of film is opened up) and transitions.

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
Exiles   (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis


THE LONESOME DEATH OF LEROY BROWN

PART ONE

25 min. color 1983

1 min. excerpt video on YouTube:

LONESOME DEATH OF LEROY BROWN - part 1 - excerpt on YouTube

The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis

A two-part voyage: the first through the ruins of Amerika, culminating in a voyeuristic stalking of a 'victim'. The second, a meditation on television violence, evangelism and the viewing subject. This film is a culmination of social and personal disintegration, desolation, decay and entropy - the end of western history as male narcissistic fixation on the self. The absent viewer/subject of Reels One and Two emerges as "the last man on earth," and as either a 'victim', or 'with a captive victim', for such is the fate of those afflicted with 'projective identification'.

In Part One, shot from a car window, the camera tracks back and forth ('the structural avant-garde'), across American roads, landscapes, cities, and alleys, until it has located it's 'subject', a blonde female (appearing throughout the film) who suddenly turns on the voyeur-camera and fires her gun, and not killing 'him' flees. The places appear arbitrarily named, and the names are purposely obscured behind graffiti and ruin. Continuing on the semiotics of projective-identification and voyeurism in Amerika.

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 1  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis


PART TWO

1 min. excerpt video on YouTube:

LONESOME DEATH OF LEROY BROWN - part 2 - excerpt on YouTube

The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis


In Part Two , we see a similar female sprawled unconsciously on the background bed as the 'drunken pervert' watches a repeating scene of a black man being shot by police on TV. As Jimmy Swaggart (on radio) spews 'fire and brimstone' on the radio, the protagonist is getting 'his nerve up'...and then slowly he turns and blows the observing (tv) screen away.

'AMERIKA': a culture of  voyeurism and violence taken to the extreme...now relegated to a motel room, where Nixon-era 'entertainment'...and 'tell me it ain't so' meets the Jekyl and Hyde of our film's points of views. We conclude the film with a (taped) singing of 'Amerika' as the screen bleaches to white.

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis The Lonesome Death of Leroy Brown  part 2 (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis

(FIN)*

10 min. color 1983

1 min. (silent) excerpt video on YouTube:

(FIN)* - excerpt on YouTube

(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis

As a closing thought, and a sequel to A MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSOR,   (FIN)*  - 'end' in French, or an acronym containing 'fetish' in parenthesis with asterisk - deals with the auto-destruction of Amerika  as a discourse, ultimately questioning the image, its provenance, authorship, and interpretation. It presents the final deconstruction of the viewer as subject of media metalanguage. The main strategy is to employ four layers of images: two layers of motion picture (figure and ground) with juxtaposed horror, documentaries and award winning commercials;a layer of still graphics (subtitle, intertitle, main parenthetical graphic) which convey film studies and semiotic (Metz) questions to the viewer; and a scrolling left to right electronic (pixellated) message board containing anarchist comments about the other interpretations.

Because film theory is invoked in this film, let's continue the film description with a little dose of same:

Beginning with the subtitle: "As for the fetish itself" - a play on 'figure' and 'ground' and the re-combining of the object of the gaze and the voyeur as a 'single fetish' image/sequence and stand-in for 'reality' - we see the flesh-eating zombies from Romero's 'Night of the Living Dead' attack the 'living', and see further violence (Hitchcock's Psycho, and Polanski's Repulsion) committed against 'the female body' (the 'site of inscription'), and against the 'viewer's subjectivity', as if to fulfill the Freudo-Lacanian 'film theory' assumption/conceit that the male fetishized view is 'perverse' (sadistic) in its depiction and reification of the female 'masochist' body in the essentialist 'duality' that obsessed film studies in the 70's and 80's. Film theory then becomes an accomplice to oppression, just as 'history', 'art', 'power', become accomplices to oppressive ideology, say the anarchists.

The four layers of image (background image scenes, foreground framed scenes, frame graphic with asterisk, and electronic subtitles) combine to construct 'the fetish' and invoke the 'imaginary' and its anarchist response. With a compilation of clips from Cannes Film Festival award-winning commercials, horror movies, clips from various features, commercials, animations, and appropriated footage, this film portrays the arguments between theory and practice, capitalist messages and communist messages, commerce and art, on a simultaneous 'bulletin board' that is 'to whom it may concern', as the following statements are offered: 'it was the absence of the object seen', according to the academics, but countered by the electronic messages of anarchists that ' all history is bunk'...'all theory is speculation'...`metalanguage rules OK`....`primar process rules OK`...'the plot of this film is bank robbery'...'image bank robbery'...'rip them off!'...`snuff them out before they`.......

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis
(FIN)*  (Amerika) a film by Al Razutis

 

Recollecting the 1980's 'feminist film theory as informed by Freud and Lacan': Film Studies 101

O KANADA!

5 min. color 1982

O Kanada!  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis


The CBC-TV sign-off with a musical O Canada!, in historical and cosmic perspective, with the 60's separatist riots in Quebec, riots againt 'the Queen' (of Eden?), riots against Trudeau, riots against confederation and government, royal and secular authority, and the Crown, are the subjects (and backdrop) as the film and evening signoff is taking place on some 'planet' - an empty landscape, like the moon, or asteroid of projection and remembrance. (A.R.)

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

O Kanada!  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
O Kanada!  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
O Kanada!  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
O Kanada!  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
O Kanada!  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
O Kanada!  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
O Kanada!  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
O Kanada!  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis
O Kanada!  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis O Kanada!  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis O Kanada!  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis O Kanada!  (Amerika) film by Al Razutis

END TITLES

2 min. color 1983

Film frame captures (click/enlarge in separate window):

End Titles - Credits - Amerika a film by Al Razutis
End Titles - Credits - Amerika a film by Al Razutis
End Titles - Credits - Amerika a film by Al Razutis
End Titles - Credits - Amerika a film by Al Razutis
End Titles - Credits - Amerika a film by Al Razutis
End Titles - Credits - Amerika a film by Al Razutis
End Titles - Credits - Amerika a film by Al Razutis
End Titles - Credits - Amerika a film by Al Razutis
End Titles - Credits - Amerika a film by Al Razutis End Titles - Credits - Amerika a film by Al Razutis End Titles - Credits - Amerika a film by Al Razutis End Titles - Credits - Amerika a film by Al Razutis



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