Deadpan (1997) DVD5 NTSC

Discussion in 'Documentaries' started by Sheriff, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. Sheriff

    Sheriff Administrator Staff Member

    Feb 18, 2012
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    Steve McQueen’s compulsive four minute film Deadpan (1997) makes a case for how multi-layered, fascinating and complex a short film can be.

    Thanks to the fortuitous positioning of a window, McQueen survives Buster Keaton’s famous gag sequence in Steamboat Bill Jnr. (1928) where the side of a house collapses on top of the hapless Keaton again and again. Each time his survival is filmed from a different angle. But whereas Keaton ran through a windstorm in Steamboat, in Deadpan McQueen doesn’t move. He may be inviting us to give in to a temptation to privilege the social and documentary role of black art, but is also presenting us with a gag and a compelling study in purgatory more economical than Nauman’s Clown Torture (1986). An establishing shot near the beginning of the film reveals that McQueen’s boots have no laces, as though he is in detention overnight with the possibility of suicide taken away. Deadpan may look like someone compulsively revisiting a trauma, but McQueen doesn’t look like the usual performance artist - standing like a tall and stoic prisoner surrounded by collapsing walls, he is too massive and unblinking, while the flickering, repetitive optical experience is dense, chest-tightening and fleshy.
    Info Url:
    Disc Info:
    Language: Silent
    Subtitles included: None
    DVD Source: Region-free DVD5
    DVD Format: NTSC
    DVD Audio: Silent
    Program: DVD Shrink 3.2
    Menus: Untouched
    Video: Untouched
    Audio: Untouched
    DVD extras: Untouched
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