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Xcèntric 2020

Storm de Hirsch: poems and songs


Storm de Hirsch—poet, painter, a woman pioneer among pioneers of the cinema—invented some of the basic forms of Super 8. However, few of her films have been screened since her death. This session combines her songs and sonnets in Super 8 with her Hudson River diaries, filmed in 16 mm.

This session devoted to Storm de Hirsch starts and ends with her cine-songs and cine-sonnets, two series of films made in the sixties and seventies, which flank a third series, the Hudson River diaries, filmed in 16 mm. The filmmaker created these sketches by modulating the morphology of what she portrayed. In some cases, the surface of things is transformed by colourful, energetic camera movements, evoking both the parataxis of De Hirsch’s poems and her inner voice. In others, as well as the changes of focus or speed of filming, the editing—often in camera—modifies what we see: this kind of improvisation requires us to touch and to listen at once.

In her cine-songs, cine-sonnets and diaries, Storm de Hirsch addresses the chronoatmospheric conditions and possibilities of light. Flowers, trees, cabins, blocks of ice, coves, lakes, tree trunks, stones, balconies, rivers, statues and snow make up one great imaginary garden, a tapestry run through by the seasons.

Cine-Songs: The Reticule of Love, 1963, 3 min; The Recurring Dream, 1965, 3 min; Aristotle, 1965, 3 min; Malevich at the Guggenheim, 1965, 5 min; Silently, Bearing Totem of a Bird, 1962, 6 min; Ives House: Woodstock, 1965, 11 min, silent, Super 8

Cayuga Run, 1967, 16 mm, 18 min

Wintergarden – Hudson River Diary: Book III, 1973, 16 mm, 5 min

River-Ghost – Hudson River Diary: Book IV, 1973, 16 mm, 9 min

Lace of Summer, 1973, silent, Super 8, 4 min

September Express, 1973, silent, 16 mm, 6 min

16 mm screening. Copies courtesy of The Film-Makers’ Cooperative.

A programme by Francisco Algarín Navarro.

Directors: Storm De Hirsch

This activity is part of Xcèntric 2020

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