Among the traditional tasks of the film avant-garde is to show what cinema is capable of when it is released from literary stories, from narration: how to interweave seemingly unrelated pictures, how to convert outer and inner spaces into a synthetic, unrealistic third cinematic space. Linda Christanell´s Picture Again is a study of such a space. In the confrontation, in its layering, the material is subjected to an endurance test.
A few takes of Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray, a scene from Billy Wilder´s Double Indemnity, are the starting point for Picture Again: a woman and a man in a car, the murderess and her prey. The images in this sequence are accompanied and superimposed by documentary street scenes from Berlin and Madrid. A few birds flutter like birds of prey through an old horror film. Picture Again values a thorough structuralist formation, musical rhythm of the images, without refraining from the ecstatic. Here, as with all of Christanell´s work, it is about devotion to beauty, sensuality: about glistening crystal and the dance of air bubbles on a moving water surface, about a film kiss, which is re-staged as a tongue of flame in yellow and red, about the light and the color of the cinema, in flickering, shimmering images. There is something ghostly about Picture Again: The images flash, show the schemes of people, transparent, immaterial, mere phantasms of the cinema. The material itself - the traces of the end of the film, signs of what is copied, the perforation - seems to take over the main role toward the end, but in the end cannot assert itself: the aloof film material has no chance against the beauty of the cinematic illusion, against the silver glimmer of Barbara Stanwyck´s hair, preserved forever in the silver layer of cinema.