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Kerry Laitala, 1997, silent, 16mm, 5’, San Francisco

The “Retrospectroscope” apparatus has gone through many incarnations; its presence belies the processes that have created it. As a paracinematic device, it traces an evolutionary trajectory, encircling the viewer in a procession of flickering fantasies of fragmented lyricism. The “Retrospectroscope” is a reinvention that simulates the illusion of the analysis of motion to recall early mysteries of the quest for this very discovery now taken for granted. The “Muses of Cinema” represented by the female figures on the disk, have emerged from a dark Neoclassical past. Streams of images revolve around, in an attempt to harness notions of a cinematic prehistory tracing past motions and gestures to burn their dance on the surface of the retinas. This film known as the “Retrospectroscope", and was described in the San Francisco Bay Guardian as “A spinning flashing UFO/roulette wheel of Athenian proportions.”

Retrospectroscope was voted one of Ten Best films of 1997 from Film Threat Online.

Laitala grew up in the wilds of the Maine coast, while developing a chronic passion for old things. She attended Massachusetts College of Art studying Photography and Film and received her Masters degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in Film. Laitala has received numerous awards such as the Princee Grace Award in 1996 and subsequent grants in 2004 and 2007. She has also won a 2007 GOLDIE from The Bay Guardian and has twice won the Best Bay Area Non Documentary Film Award San fancisco International Film Festival. Her work has been screened internationally and in the celestial ether which connects us with the music of the spheres.