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Mirror Movement
Håkan Dahlström

MIRROR MOVEMENT was filmed in the desert outside Tucson, Arizona, in 1973, on 16mm Kodachrome stock and with a Bolex camera. I restored and scanned the film from the original positive in 2017 for this digital copy and was surprised at how the colours were unchanged by time, after 45 years.

In front of the camera were Christallo Parmakis and Bob Di Matteo. At this time I worked with images and narrative in, one could say, a musical way – in the sense that we did not use a previously set script. What interested me was what the film itself needed, going from one scene to the next, the imagery and what could be achieved with that landscape and the combination of those two people. This way of working involved editing in the camera, hard work and dedication.

Christallo Parmakis, born in Greece, was raised in London and moved to San Fransisco as an adult. She had a very adventurous life and a strong voice. Bob Di Matteo was a gifted composer, pianist and filmcritic, also living in San Fransisco. Christallo was also involved in the making of the soundtrack.

I had lived in that desert some 7 years earlier for a year and the light and landscape captivated me. We set out, the three of us, to work together and at first we were received with some hostility. Later we found out that Warhol had been in the vicinity filming Lonesome Cowboys, which had outraged some of the local people.

There was also a second film (on 8mm) – a kind of experimental “the making of” which is now lost.

Keywords Landscape
Aspect ratio 1.78:1 (16:9)
Prod. format 16mm
Duration 00:11:35
Color Color
Sound Stereo
Year 1973
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About the artist

Håkan Dahlström

Håkan Dahlström, born in Sweden (1952) has dedicated himself to art since his childhood in Málaga (Spain), he spent some ten years there and studied at Picasso’s Art School. A lot of his youth he travelled extensively with his family, both his parents were artists (writer Sture Dahlström and painter Anna-Stina Ehrenfeldt).

They lived for a year in the Arizona desert, to which he years later – in 1974 – returned and filmed the 16mm film “Mirror Movement”.
His understanding of Nature and Cosmos is vital, observing plants and animals that are present in his work since his beginnings.

He started out as a filmmaker when he found his father´s camera at the age of 14 and in 1967 won the gold medal at Unescos 5th International Contest for Young Filmmakers (Paris). The following years in California, (San Fransisco) he lived and worked among other artists in the avant-garde circles and participated in the underground film movement, showing his work amongst other places at the Berkeley Film Archives. Back in Sweden he won prizes from Swedish Television in 1967, 1968 and 1969. His work has been shown in cinemathéques and art centers in Scandinavia, Paris, London as well as on television.

Today he continues filming on video, using different media and also ways to achieve interaction between film, photography and 3-dimensional work.