Marc'O (Marc-Gilbert Guillaumin) b. 1927
Closed Vision (1954)
Marc'O (Also written as Marc,O or Marc,o (born Marc-Gilbert Guillaumin)
France / 1954 / B&W / 65 min.
Music: Roger Calmel
Produced by Leon Vickman
Photography: J.G. Albicocco
Text, scenario, dialogue: Marc'O
Cast: Daniele Maurel, Robert G. Guiot, Merlin Hare, Robert Patisser, Simone Larrous, M. and Mme. Closse, M. and Mme. Dieulivol
A nearly forgotten feature by one of the founders of Lettrism, Closed Vision was the directorial debut of Marc'O (born Marc-Gilbert Guillaumin), editor of the short-lived Lettrist film journal Ion and producer of Jean-Isidore Isou's infamous Traité de bave et d'eternité (Venom and Eternity). Compared to that film or Maurice Lemaitre's Le film est déjà commencé?, Closed Vision is a more literary and downright genial effort. If Isou and Lemaitre were content to "destroy cinema" (exposing ugly, banal images or simply splicing in scratched-up blank leader in semi-conjunction with endless soundtrack harangues), Marc'O here seems almost to save it - or at least to invest serious effort toward finding a cinematic idiom equivalent to the novel's stream-of-consciousness (the subtitle is 'Sixty Minutes in the Interior Life of a Man').
Debuting at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival with the endorsements from Jean Cocteau and Luis Buñuel, this bilingual production (itself shot mostly around La Croisette in Cannes) evidently received little attention in the USA. "Is this movement a sign that the vanguard of thinking people no longer consider cinema a valid art form?" fretted one American film magazine after earlier Lettrist efforts. It settled into regular rotation with the assorted homoerotic shorts at Rohauer's Coronet Theater.