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Zorn’s Lemma

Posted by martinteller on January 15, 2011

It is tempting to write this off as pure wankery, but I found the concept rather intriguing.  I won’t attempt to describe it, and I can’t really explain what it means (for one thing, I’ve tried to comprehend the mathematical axiom it’s named after… and failed).  But I did enjoy how it toyed with expectations, the way it gradually replaces one kind of symbol with another.  Greenaway has cited Frampton as an influence, and there seems to be a straight line from this to Vertical Features Remake, especially in the meticulous attention to patterns and rhythms.  However, what sets Greenaway’s film apart is the sense of humor.  Getting through an hour of Zorn’s Lemma is a tough slog.  Yes, I was intrigued, but after 15 minutes the tedium kicked in, and kicked in big time.  I was relieved when the film switched gears entirely (and substituting a visual rhythm for an aural rhythm was a nice touch) at the end… but then that became a chore as well.  I’m not ready to give up on Frampton, but the next logical step would be the “Hapax Legomena” series, and that’s a much bigger time investment.  Rating: 5


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