Picture again

Among the traditional tasks of the film avant-garde is to show what cinema is capable of when it is released from literary stories, from narration: how to interweave seemingly unrelated pictures, how to convert outer and inner spaces into a synthetic, unrealistic third cinematic space. Linda Christanell´s Picture Again is a study of such a space. In the confrontation, in its layering, the material is subjected to an endurance test.
A few takes of Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray, a scene from Billy Wilder´s Double Indemnity, are the starting point for Picture Again: a woman and a man in a car, the murderess and her prey. The images in this sequence are accompanied and superimposed by documentary street scenes from Berlin and Madrid. A few birds flutter like birds of prey through an old horror film. Picture Again values a thorough structuralist formation, musical rhythm of the images, without refraining from the ecstatic. Here, as with all of Christanell´s work, it is about devotion to beauty, sensuality: about glistening crystal and the dance of air bubbles on a moving water surface, about a film kiss, which is re-staged as a tongue of flame in yellow and red, about the light and the color of the cinema, in flickering, shimmering images. There is something ghostly about Picture Again: The images flash, show the schemes of people, transparent, immaterial, mere phantasms of the cinema. The material itself - the traces of the end of the film, signs of what is copied, the perforation - seems to take over the main role toward the end, but in the end cannot assert itself: the aloof film material has no chance against the beauty of the cinematic illusion, against the silver glimmer of Barbara Stanwyck´s hair, preserved forever in the silver layer of cinema.

(Stefan Grissemann)

Orig. Title
Picture again
11 min
Orig. Language
No Dialogue
Linda Christanell
Available Formats
16 mm (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
Frame Rate
25 fps
Betacam SP (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate
24 fps
Festivals (Selection)
Viennale - Vienna Int. Film Festival
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des Österreichischen Films
Jihlava Documentary Film Festival
Madrid - Semana de Cine Experimental
Stuttgart - Filmwinter, Expanded Media Festival
Saarbrücken - Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis
Istanbul - Int. Short Film Festival
Wilmington - Cucalorus Annual Festival of Independent Film
San Francisco - Madcat Women Film Festival