• Shirley Clarke’s Bridges-Go-Round

    When I think of Structural film my mind goes right to Paul Sharits’ T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G. This is probably due to the fact that T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G meets all of Sitney’s requirements to be considered structural. It was also the only film that I feel physically assaulted me so, that probably helps it stand out in my mind. Going forward into my perception of structural films, I think of slow, simple, often intentionally frustrating films where the form is more important than the content. I enjoyed Shirley Clarke’s Bridges-Go-Round, though it didn’t exactly fit my understanding of the definition of structural film. I’m going to analyze the film in terms of Sitney’s definition of structural film and then give a personal response to the work overall.

    Sitney states that there are four characteristics inherent to structural film. The first characteristic is that the camera is fixed. The camera does not tilt, pan, or zoom: it stays static throughout. The second characteristic is that there is a strobe or flicker effect used. Looping, or repetition, is the third characteristic. Lastly, some type of retouching needs to be done to the film in post-production. While not listed directly by Sitney, it is usually the case that structural films value form over content.