Peter Rose: Witness

The man who could not see far enough

Golden Gate from peter rose on Vimeo.

The man who could not see far enough (1981, 16 mm film, color, sound) uses literary, structural, autobiographical, and performance metaphors to construct a series of tableaux that evoke the act of vision, the limits of perception, and the rapture of space. Spectacular moving multiple images; a physical, almost choreographic sense of camera movement; and massive, resonant sound have inspired critics to call it "stunning" and "hallucinatory." The film ranges in subject from a solar eclipse shot off the coast of Africa to a hand-held filmed ascent of the Golden Gate Bridge, and moves, in spirit, from the deeply personal to the mythic. "The man who could not see far enough" has won major awards of distinction at numerous festivals both here and abroad, including the Oberhausen, Edinburgh, American, and Sydney Film Festivals, has been broadcast nationally, and is in collections at Centre Pompidou in Paris and at Image Forum in Tokyo. (Note: the movies viewed here are excerpts) (read script)

Reviews:

"Space, sound, and kinaesthetic experience are here explored as a means of going beyond the limits of the self and of perceptible phenomena.  Rose integrates theoretical and personal reflections with direct physical involvement in the spaces of the film.  His 'will to know' draws him into the world and through it, to a dimension of experience which reaches a higher order."
Thelma Schenkel, Millenium Film Journal

"His work asks very serious questions regarding the nature of thought and the meaning of language, while at the same time casting banana peels for unsuspecting minds.  At his best Rose displays a virtuosic command of cinematic techniques and a visual and auditory sense bordering on the hallucinatory."
Thomas Gartside, New Art Examiner

"a powerfully formal, analytic inquiry into the very nature of vision and cinema..painfully beautiful images of mysterious events and things, images that split, multiply, migrate, and quiver with a hallucinatory vibrance..a rich fabric interlacing the metaphysical with the ironical."
Sally Banes, Village Voice

"miraculous..charged with expectancy..his fastidious gaze lends his subjects the color of myth, and they spread in the viewer's mind like a fabulous dream."
Mark Stivers, WXPN Express

"contrasts optical printing with screen imagery as beautifully and poetically as I've seen.  The film is all about seeing, about magic and about the relationship between film and the eye."
Owen Shapiro,

"...mixes  words and images with strong grace, exploring  ways in which vision  can overpower us...stunning."
Phillip  Anderson, Minneapolis City Pages

"..Rose's work is timeless..in  every sense of the word.  They continue on in retrospect.  His movies are hard to shake..intensely powerful, personal, lucid, and relentless."
Joe Baltake, Phila. Daily News

"THE MAN WHO COULD NOT SEE FAR ENOUGH http://www.filmthreat.com/reviews/10797/"
David Finkelstein, FilmThreat

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