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Boris Lehman

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ONTOLOGICAL FILMS
by Boris Lehman

Boris Lehman, second person director
“Everyone will tell you Boris Lehman is a first person film director. He belongs to that legendary family including the likes of Brakhage, Mekas, Morder, De Bernardi, Noren, Hernandez, Kawanaka, Guttenplan, Hanoun, Courant and Akerman, that place cinema in the realm of the self portrait or the intimate journal.
He has certainly merited this designation: he has often been his own writer, his own cameraman and his own editor. He has filmed himself in his own environment. He was the main actor in many of his films: radiant lover in Couple, Regards, Positions; amiable/narcissistic investigator in Babel; self deprecating and mise-en-abyme in Homme portant son film le plus lourd. Most of his films are self-portraits – from “man of the earth” to making his own self-embalming death mask (in Masque).
But Boris also welcomes others into his films. He makes a place for them in front of or beside him.”
Dominique Noguez

L’Arroseur arrosé (The Watered sprinkler), La Chute des heures (the Fall of the hours), Masque (Mask), Division de mon temps (Division of my time), L’Image et le Monde (the Image and the World), Horizontales et Verticales (Horizontals and Verticals), Savoir compter (Knowing how to count), Donner la main (Giving a hand), Regarder le ciel (Looking at the sky), Superstition (Superstition), Une flamme dans mon cœur (a Flame in my heart), Noir et Blanc (Black and White )…

These are “essential” films. They are very short (1 to 8 minutes). They are, unless exceptions, silent (with no soundtrack), made in one go, without any manipulation of assembly. They can be projected separately or grouped, in different and varied ways, accompanied by music or commentary, depending on the circumstances.

Composed of one, several, sometimes a hundred shots, sorts of film haikus, they experiment an idea which becomes film. They make a set of questions and meditations on creation, measurement of time, function of images, weight and movement of things and the world.

They are of course philosophical and encyclopaedic, but also have a ludic (puns, playing with images, proverbs illustrated to the letter) and didactic value. Some, based on constraints, could be part of the Oulipo, because they refer to the first values of images and language.
They equally draw from the spirit of Walter Benjamin, Henry Miller, Georges Bataille, than from the literary games of Raymond Queneau and Georges Perec.

In introduction of each projections you will discover an ontolgical film from Boris Lehman.