Opening at NYC’s Anthology Film Archives tomorrow, Thursday, July 22: PSYCHOHYDROGRAPHY

Peter Bo Rappmund’s stunningly beautiful experimental study of water has screened at a handful of festivals and events since premiering at Vancouver last fall, including Ann Arbor, Hong Kong, and MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight. Anthology brings the film back to NYC for a weekend-long run.

In a series of striking static camera set-ups, Rappmund’s film follows the movement of the body of water that becomes the Los Angeles River from its starting point in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains through natural and man-made landscapes until it reaches its end in the Pacific Ocean. If this flow isn’t already strangely captivating, Rappmund makes it even more mesmerizing – what the viewer watches is actually the product of time-lapse animation. Thousands of stills contribute to each scene of the film, creating a unique rhythmic effect that keeps the eye engaged due to its upending of expectations of how flowing water should actually look. A rather unusual, but equally intriguing and not-quite-natural soundscape accompanies the visuals, making for an appropriate match. Clocking in at just over an hour, Rappmund’s film feels just about the right length and shouldn’t try the viewer’s endurance, even if s/he is not normally a fan of experimental work. Photography and nature fans who may not normally be drawn to experimental or documentary work should especially consider taking a look.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Releases

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