1975,16 mm, color, 28 min.
Sound: Anthony Moore.
An adventure film, a journey into light "This film is dedicated to Joseph Plateau, the discoverer of the cinematographic principle, who while exploring the inertia of perception stared into the sun until he was blinded. I made this film because I love the ending of the 'Adventures of Arthur Gordon Pym' by Edgar Allan Poe." (Werner Nekes).
Radical rejection and enthusiastic approval: Photophthalmia took part in the contest of the Internationale Filmwoche Mannheim
1976: "Werner Nekes' Photophthalmia was one of the few experimental contributions to this film festival. In a 'play on light' Werner Nekes remains true to himself: fragmentary images that harden and dissolve again are conceived as the film version to a travel tale through Alaska. They are also the homage to one of the fathers of cinematography, Joseph Plateau, blinded in the course of his research. The Nekes opus ends accordingly with minutes of a white and empty screen". (Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, Oct. 8, 1976).
"Reunion with Werner Nekes. He borrowed the title of his 30 minute contribution from medicine: Photophthalmia. The term denotes the damage done when too much light enters the eye. Nekes dedicated this film, which he produced himself, to the discoverer of the cinematographic principle, Joseph Plateau, who gazed into the sun for too long while researching into persistence of vision, the after-images on the retina, Plateau went blind. Nekes also dedicated the film to Arthur Gordon Pym, whose tragic Arctic expedition was given literary expression by Edgar Allan Poe.
In the audience Nekes' unconventional creations elicit either radical rejection or enthusiastic approval. His Arctic playings on light accompanied by Anthony Moore's enervating music 'starve the eye' (thus a critic in the midnight discussion). It is true that with a Nekes film a speck of bewilderment always remains; yet his merits in finding new modes of expression are undisputed. His films are contributions to the grammar of film."
(Mannheimer Morgen, Oct. 10, 1976).
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