Due to the mountain of clips necessitated by the visual essay format, Thom Andersen‘s work often carries with it a burden of inaccessibility, so consider the free (albeit limited-time) distribution of his latest film, a short, something to celebrate. Ahead of its Locarno showing later this month, Andersen’s 15-minute short, A Train Arrives at the Station, is streaming on Grasshopper Film’s blog, Transmissions.
Whatever your thoughts on the essay-film format or, if you’ve ever managed to see it, Andersen’s other projects, Train should offer a litany of pleasures. Andersen says it “comprises 26 scenes or shots from movies, 1904-2015” and “has a simple serial structure: each black & white sequence in the first half rhymes with a color sequence in the second half.” Within that simple structure is a web of associations: it runs the gamut from lush Hollywood productions of yesteryear and today to low-grade foreign productions that I couldn’t even identify; from slow and serene to fast and nerve-jangling; from actual trains to miniatures, real landscapes to rear-projection and constructed sets. What most makes A Train Arrives at the Station a pleasure, though, is that it’s ultimately a serene experience.
The short is non-embeddable, so click here to view it.