Once at Miracle Mile

The Pearl M. Mackey Apartment House in Los Angeles, built in 1939 by Rudolph M. Schindler, is completely compelling to Sasha Pirker. In her work, she does´t strive to merely capture architecture on film, nor to simply record and document what she sees, but rather to work with the building itself (albeit in a restrained and respectful way), indeed to map it. Intriguingly, Sasha Pirker takes what would seem awkward in a conventional feature film and makes it her own: the idiosyncratic use of cross dissolves in this short film becomes in fact its main stylistic principle, and – stunningly – it works.

In Once at Miracle Mile, several calm, steady and yet at times even hesitant circular camera pans are intertwined, playing with the gaze and the expectations of the audience. Into the background of one pan enters a second, although this one refuses to displace the first – at least not initially – but rather, the two camera pans exist simultaneously, allowing the viewer´s attention to move between the coming and going of the images, jumping – no, gliding – back and forth.

A slow-motion dance through the building, a dance with the building, a fusion of inside and out, a simultaneity of views – as if we were passing the house and just happened to catch a glimpse of ourselves in one of the windows.
Why not? Everything is possible at Miracle Mile on this mild Californian afternoon.

This film is a declaration of love, made with solemn and tender affection for the house it´s also a remembrance of: Once.

(Bernhard Seiter / Translation: Janet Grau

Orig. Title
Once at Miracle Mile
9 min 10 sec
Sasha Pirker
Orig. Language
No Dialogue
Sasha Pirker
Concept & Realization
Sasha Pirker
Available Formats
Digital File (prores, h264)
Festivals (Selection)
Viennale - Vienna Int. Film Festival
Paris - Rencontres International Paris/Berlin/Madrid
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films