Video 50

1978, 51:40 min, color, sound

Video 50 is an extraordinary video sketchbook, a highly original, visually dramatic and frequently humorous collection of one hundred abbreviated "episodes" produced for television. Unfolding as a series of thirty-second vignettes, this enigmatic essay in style is characterized by a deadpan theatricality, symbolist imagery, surrealist juxtapositions and repetition of key visual motifs. Indelible images, precisely composed — a man teetering above a waterfall, a floating chair, a winking eye, a parrot against the New York skyline — are accompanied by an "architectural" sound score that includes spoken "phonetic patterns" rather than words. Fusing his surprising visual logic and rhythms with unexpected temporal manipulations, Wilson creates a work of startling wit and poetry.

Music: Allan Lloyd. Lighting: Renato Berta. Produced by Robert Boner and Caroline Arrighi. A coproduction of Film and Video Collectif and Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF). With: Lucinda Childs, Philippe Chemin, Laura Condominas, Robert Wilson.