The End / Last year’s sun still glitters in the drop of water
October 25, 2023
The End (2012) experimental film by Ülo Pikkov, music by Mirjam Tally “Last year’s sun still glitters in the drop of water”, edited version. P: Anna Svensdotter (flute) + electronics.
Experimental animation by Ülo Pikkov.
Estonia / 6 min
In modern times, audiovisual culture spreads and develops more than ever, but the classical film print as a material is forced to back down in the face of digital solutions. Film stock, which was once synonymous with film, is destined to disappear. It is thought that when a person dies, his whole life runs before his eyes. But what would a century-old filmstrip see before it finally looses its standing to digital media? Is it cut- off film frames, a filmstrip scratched to shreds, or something else?
The experimental animation film THE END is an homage of sorts to film as a material. The name of the film – THE END – is the key to understanding its concept. As a rule, films end with the title frame THE END and then the film is gone… but if digital films really do end with the frame THE END, then films on film prints don’t – after the final frame, the film continues for about 5-6 seconds. This is technical material that isn’t meant for the viewer, but to help the projectionist, and thus it carries different technical markings. THE END presents the viewer with the visual world that exists after the film has officially ended.
THE END exposes the film print as a material, the nature of the many layers of emulsion and color, possible different framings and the signs of wear that are created by repeated screenings. The base material for THE END is the remains of film prints that have been written off. They come from different cinemas and archives. They are the worn frames from the beginning and the end, which weren’t ever meant for the viewers’ eyes. Unlike modern digital film media, every screening of a classical film print leaves at least some scratch on the material. This is a film about time and it’s ephemeral nature.
About musical material: this piece is kind of “duet” between flute and tape. First I recorded flute part, which I ́ve modified in Pro Tools, added some effects and other layers (synth). The flutist plays the live part, slightly later than it ́s sounding in tape part. The score is organised by approximate timelines.