Bridge 16mm 14 minutes colour silent 1980 / short extract

Bridge is a 16mm film of the changing reflections of a bridge over the lake in the grounds of South Hill Park, Berkshire, which links a public thoroughfare.

The reflection of the bridge was framed so that it linked the two sides of the frame edge with the centre of the bridge reflection positioned in centre of the frame. The purpose of this was to give a sense of ‘out of frame space’ on each side of the frame as people moved across the bridge and passed in and then out of frame. This film was made ‘in camera’, during which takes of differing durations were made. After the first long continuous take, film takes of a shorter duration were made, which corresponded to the time people took to enter, cross and leave the framed area of the bridge, at which point filming was stopped. This procedure was juxtaposed with the effects caused by random and chance disturbances to the water surface. The resulting waves and ripples, which varied in intensity, were enough to create different levels movement within the framed reflection of the bridge. Sometimes images of the bridge were clearly reflected, when water surface was calm, and at others times the image was more abstracted when the surface was disturbed. There are different degrees of image abstraction according to the level of water disturbance.

Bridge can be thought of as a metaphor for the representational process and the cinematic ‘apparatus’ itself, with the ‘bridging process’ connecting the ‘real’ bridge with its representation as a reflected image on water surface, the reflected image on water to camera and film emulsion, the projected film image to the screen and the screen to the film viewer in the cinema. To push this still a stage further, it acts as a metaphoric link between theory and practice (a stills sequence from Bridge appeared on the first page of the first edition of Undercut Magazine).