Hand Held Day

1975

Dir. Gary Beydler, 16mm Color Silent 00:06:00

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Hand Held Day (1975) by Gary Beydler. 16mm film; color, silent.  Gary Beydler. Courtesy of Mike and David Beydler. Hand Held Day (1975) by Gary Beydler. 16mm film; color, silent. Gary Beydler. Courtesy of Mike and David Beydler.

Beydler's magical HAND HELD DAY is his most unabashedly beautiful film, but it's no less complex than his other works. The filming approach is simple, yet incredibly rich with possibilities, as Beydler collapses the time and space of a full day in the Arizona desert via time-lapse photography and a carefully hand-held mirror reflecting the view behind his camera.

Over the course of two Kodachrome camera rolls, we simultaneously witness eastward and westward views of the surrounding landscape as the skies, shadows, colors, and light change dramatically. Beydler's hand, holding the mirror carefully in front of the camera, quivers and vibrates, suggesting the relatively miniscule scale of humanity in the face of a monumental landscape and its dramatic transformations. Yet the use of the mirror also projects an idealized human desire to frame and understand what we see around us, without destroying or changing any of its inherent fascination and beauty.

[Source: Mark Toscano]

I made the film on a mountain top in Arizona over a continuous period of 14 hours, from dawn to sunset. I held a small mirror in my right hand facing west which was framed in the camera facing east. An inter-velometer controlled the camera and was set to take one frame every 6-7 seconds. The film was over when it was too dark to see.

[Source: Gary Beydler]

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