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Summary

In explaining the filming of RODIA-ESTUDIANTINA, artist Lawrence Jordan writes, "Except for the removal of one out-of-focus shot, which I did not feel fit into the texture of the piece, I have never been able to change this footage from the way it came out of the camera. The film was never intended as an "in-camera" film. But it has turned out to be one. An illiterate tile setter named Simon Rodia built a series of tile-covered towers in Watts, California, in the middle of a black ghetto. He claimed the towers were built to express his thanks to the country which had received him as immigrant. I felt they were a vision of higher plane of existence. I began to move the camera over those surfaces of brilliantly pattered tile, and before I knew it was dancing with the camera, one rift of shots calling forth the next, and so on through the roll. There seemed no time to consider the nicety of the angles or the usual conventions of the montage. The camera was like a saxophone in my hands, and my eye was plowing it instead of my lips. One may judge for one’s self the results of this kind of cinema, yet it is the way of making motion-energies from in a very condensed, almost explosive manner. And often, as in this case, in my opinion, the results can be very beautiful."

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