Nostalgia


Frampton finished the film Nostalgia in 1971. Nostalgia is a black and white film composed of twelve still photographs. Each photograph is accompanied by a commentary, but the sound and the image are not together. The movie camera begins by showing each photograph and then destroys it. Each shot lasts only as long as it takes the photograph to burn up after being placed on an electric ring. ≥Nostalgia thus stages an encounter between photography, and cinema, between stillness, and movement, sound and image, present and past.≤ (www.haussite.net)

People may become confused by watching this film because the sound and the photographs do not match up, as mentioned. Also, many people do not realize the narrator is not Frampton himself, but is a filmmaker named Michael Snow. Michael Snow is really talking about the next photograph, not the one that is seen burning. Frampton says that this film as about words and the kind of relationship that words can have to images. The film suggests that people absorb information first with their eyes and then expect the sound to correspond to what is seen. This film completely takes that away and confuses people by showing one thing and hearing another, so now the relationship between hearing and seeing is mixed up. It may almost be seen as a lesson is being taught in the way that humans always react. Seeing something may give a person a predetermined notion of what they might hear next, but taking that away and hearing something else confuses the brain, and Frampton did a great job in doing that. Also, the burning of the photographs suggest him burning or ending the passion for still photography and moving on to film, because a new passion has been created.

Greg Cole, 2004

Hollis Frampton