The Flame

Clemente Calvo

This is an attractive visual exercise that, with the help of hindu musical themes, manages to introduce the viewer into a hypnotic and precious atmosphere. In this piece Clemente Calvo generates an enigmatic atmosphere, skillfully constructed out of the recombination of manipulated images. Despite the work being in black and white, the author, in a curious game of lights and shadows, is able to evoke an exotic and exquisite tone. In this sense there is no doubt that the artist pampers and polishes each one of the images used to create this interesting video.

Over a music background in harmony with the image, the video recreates a set of oriental scenes without resorting to archetypes nor common clichés. These scenes are somewhat mysterious in that, despite the fact that we can identify some of the motifs that are shown, such as incense or a pair of hands mimicking a hindu gesture, still something of an enigmatic nature seems to hide behind each one of the images.

This video, which is close to experimental cinema, has a clear evocative element which manages to render the apparent lack of narrative characteristic of the piece almost unnoticeable. The viewer must only let themself be led by the cadences with which the images are structured, as if they were watching a bonfire, knowing well that not one single image is crucial for understanding the rest of the piece, but that it is its precise order within the sequence that which renders the video the complete opposite to an abrupt exercise in composition. It is rather a laborious score of images, sounds and silences.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: The Flame
  • Direction: Clemente Calvo
  • Production: Clemente Calvo y la New York Film Academy. 1994.
  • Duration: 00:04:23
  • Original format: Mini DV
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Creative Commons