Rotting the Image

The odour of a movie’s look.

Written by Graeme Cole for Unfound Peoples Videotechnic.

37 micro-essays on how to bring your movie’s images to life and, inevitably death.

Evergreen, esoteric knowledge, originally delivered in the summer of 2016 and published in the autumn of 2023.

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Read in any order.


Underlined links lead to anchorpoints - each one a micro-essay or exercise - within the containing lesson.


  • Possession | If a movie is an object, who gets to hold it?

  • Packaging | If a movie is abstract energy, how does the filmmaker give weight to the images?

  • Concrete questions | How to analyse the thingness of your movie’s image.

  • Film by the foot | A story about Peter Kubelka, film stock, and dancing.

  • Fabrics | The materials with which the movie image is woven.

  • Inter-diegetic ruptures | What happens when the materials of a movie’s image fall apart.

  • Digital flowers | How a movie falls apart depends how it was loved.

  • Pathetic media | When the material of a movie’s image frays in sympathy with the characters.

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