Standish Lawder – The Corridor (1970)
During the 1960’s, with Michael Snow, Hollis Frampton, Tony Conrad, and others, Standish Lawder was pioneer of Structuralist film. Sadly neither this movement, nor its artists receive the attention they deserve for their radical approach and accomplishments in the history of film-making. Rather than content, these works prioritized the shape and structure of a film – often utilizing a fixed camera position, flickering, and loops. Lawder tends to get lost when scanning the movement’s output, which is tragic given the remarkable quality of his work. He made dozens of films of the course of his career, but in my view 1970’s The Corridor is a standout. It also has the added benefit of having an improvised Terry Riley score – one of a very small number of film collaborations involving the composer. To my knowledge the recording doesn’t appear anywhere else, which might be for the best. It’s great to be forced to encounter it where it was conceived to rest. It’s a remarkable collaboration between two incredible artists, and a window into the spirit which defined the late 60’s and early 70’s counter-culture. It’s worth every second, and serves to remind and inspire.