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Iíll Be Your Eyes, Youíll Be Mine

(Keja Ho Kramer & Stephen Dwoskin, France, 2006)


 


The cinema of Robert Kramer (1939-1999) aspired to the status of a collective art: never fixed solely himself or on a central character, each film of his (whether documentary, fiction or something in-between) span concentric circles to include an ever-greater number of lives, times and experiences. Among his many experiments in collaborative creation was a series of “video letters” exchanged with Stephen Dwoskin (1939-2012).

 

Seven years after Kramer’s death, his daughter Keja Ho Kramer took the baton to make a video-essay that is in her developing style, as well as in his – and, once again, Dwoskin serves as the artistic interlocutor, particularly at the editing stage. Kramer and Dwoskin reflected on their collaborative process here.

 

Keja Kramer’s film begins from the experience of sorting through her father’s voluminous archives for the retrospective event devoted to him at Bobigny in France in 2006. Not only do the reams of footage effortlessly cross the line, over and over, between a personal diary and more considered reflections on existence, ethics and politics; Keja, in fact, frequently figured in her father’s work, quite literally from the moment of her home birth (which is movingly recounted here).

 

Responding to such an enormous, rich legacy means, for Keja Kramer, inventing in turn a free-associative but sturdy thread of images and sounds (including the frank audio letters from father to daughter), mixing fanciful and metaphoric imagery with documentary glimpses of friends and family (such as her mother, Erika Kramer).

 

I’ll Be Your Eyes, You’ll Be Mine announces the arrival of an important new filmmaker – as well as a late work in the remarkable career of one of experimental cinema’s “elders”.

 

Further information on Keja Ho Kramer’s work can be found here.

MORE Dwoskin: Intoxicated By My Illness (Part 1), Behindert

© Adrian Martin June 2006


Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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