quote and spelling as per original article)
Ostrovskis' Flower Animation is another in a series of
dazzling films from this talented filmmaker. This film confirms,
as does his most recent work Williamstown, that Ostrovskis'
mission in life is to please the eyes of his audience. These flowers
are animated not only movement-wise (single frame quick zoom technique)
but also colour wise (the employment of negative colour being
a highlight). Formalistic cinema is critically dependent on how
the filmmaker films things. That may seem an obvious and redundant
thing to say, but clearly many experimental filmmakers forget
that. Nick hasn't."
Super-8: hits and messes" by Bill Mousoulis, Filmnews,
Vol.18, No.9, October 1988. p.11
referring to Melbourne film-making in the book Signs of Independence
- 10 years of the Creative Development Fund. 1988, p.17
a gifted film-maker like Nick Ostrovskis can sit with perfect
ease astride 70's - style small-scale domesticity, and Koyannisquatsi-type
mainstream experimentalism; whilst in Sydney, the abyss between
a Paul Winkler and a Michael Hutak is as deep as it is debilitating
for both sides."
commenting on a MIMA animation screening in MIMA newsletter,
August 1989. Vol.1, No. 5, titled "Pointing the Bone".
more personal work by animators like Nick Ostrovskis had been
screened. Such people see their work as a serious art form instead
of the industry work that constantly presents tiresome visual
tricks and gimmicks."
Screening Review" by Maeve Woods, Melbourne Super 8 Film
Group Newsletter No.58, May 1991. p.6
by Nick Ostrovskis
intrepid journey driven by pulsing changes, degrees of shift,
full chroma stained the air between screen and viewer. No sound
track to distract or to explain but as is always the case for
me with strong soundless works I begin to 'hear' a presence. We
are so accustomed to seeing and being also locked into a provided
sound that there is tension in the absence.
seemed to have been done entirely (?) off slides, in this sense
you could say it was very simple. Slides had been stained to full
saturation and the physical responses of layers of transparent
colour culminating in the projection of coloured light onto the
screen was further enhanced by so many recurring shifts. Much
of the time the images seemed to be colour as colour, but there
would also be rhythmic interrupted zooms within those colour sensation
sections and these in their turn would metamorphose into 'real'
things like bits of flowers, or they would zap into being quite
tough Leger-like drawings of things (often flowers but creatures,
kind of built objects and even a few negative 'snaps' of the family).
I felt the sources here were experiences of having dyes and paints,
brushes and artist's tools in the hand and I kept making associations
with German Expressionist painting from early this century, Franc
Marc particularly, but I also thought of the two Delaunays, of
Klee and of the Russian artist Jawlensky."
Maeve Woods comments in her article titled "Sound Aesthetics
in Super-8 Film", Melbourne
Super 8 Film Group Newsletter, No.63, October 1991, p.6.
been exciting to see Nick Ostrovskis' silent films which are so
daring and yet elegantly put together (using in Super-8 re-photographed
slides). The success of these films is partly in the pace of changes
and the intrepid use of saturated hues. Because there is no auditory
experience, I for one tune into something which is not music but
is a kind of meta-music when I see Nick's films..."
describing the film Colors (1991, 4 min, Super-8 / 35mm)
in Filmnews, February 1992. p.8.
"A Bold Affair with Jewel-Like Films"
by Nick Ostrovskis, is super 8 blown up to 35mm with startling
results. The sheer brightness of the image gives the film an impact
it could have never attained on its original format; a curious
and successful example of pan-gauge experimentation. Kaleidoscopic
flashes of pure colour ebbing and flowing once again in the Ostrovskis
mould of progressive formalism, and the sheer exhilaration at
sitting in total silence before the cascade of light is something
to experience. Catch it if you can."
referring to the film Stained Glass Landscape (1993, 8
min, Super-8) in the article titled, "August Open Screening",
Melbourne Super 8 Film Group Newsletter, No.84, September
Ostrovskis' Stained Glass Landscape goes over the same
ground covered with his Brain Surge. From memory. The colours
are strongly primary, he has simple drawn images of people symbols
and of course Elephants.
reds saturate my brain cells eternally. Near the end of the film,
it takes on a sugary crystal look to it ... Animated Kandinsky,
cooking with colour. Occasional
photo's are used, tree's make it a landscape.
zooms though dark buildings out of windows - coming and going.
One is literally dazzled at the sheer wonder of these images.
Where will Nick go from here? At what sub atomic colour level
will he mine next? Through a glass brightly".
Review in by
Jim Bridges, Melbourne Super 8 Film Group Newsletter, No.89,
March 1994, p.1. Referring to Brain Surge (1992, 16min, Super-8
Surge, Nick Ostrovskis newly blown up to 16mm in San Francisco
and now with a soundtrack by Chris Knowles. It's the best colour
Super-8 blow up I've ever seen, colour saturation excellent, but
my memory somehow misses those deep greens, blues and impenetrable
blacks, or is it my memory that's missing. Everyone was impressed
with the prints technical polish. An eye motif in the beginning
of his film starts the eye ball rolling, circular dogs, those
primal primary colours wash over you again, still they seem softer,
more mellow and not nearly as hard edged as last years festival
viewing. The pace seems slower somehow, doesn't incise and burn
into your brain as before.
imagery especially circulatory stuff was great and synchronised
briefly with the off the shelf soundtrack. (I don't dislike the
music, it's just not a marriage.) The later rotating sequence
was faster and, I felt, even better. The blow up near the end
emphasised the jelly crystal colours of his materials. As the
film became more glassy at the end, its pin pricks of light were
diffused even more, and the sprocket section briefly says a lot
about the whole photographic experience. Spirals of spidery glass
wire dazzle as they tear out of the blackness. His use of triangles
were my favourite part of the film and I wish he'd given us more.
films bear fruit on further watching ... I suspect Nick is really
interested in filling these colouring book films of his with those
powerful primary colours that burn, burn, burn into our colour
coding brains and stimulate in each of us almost a physical pleasure,
if not a physical repose."
Jim Bridges, Melbourne Super 8 Film Group Newsletter, No.89,
March 1994, p.2. Referring to Architectural Symbols (1993,
8 min, Super-8)
Symbols... ..made in 1993, was Nick's second cab off the rank
multiple exposure zoom is used as a structural device. Line drawings
of cars are stacked up and assembled like building blocks. In
this film you feel the physical affects of the fast zoom. Nick
turns up in a couple of frames, lit from below accompanied with
a reddish glow.
images again, fashion images this time - with just a touch of
colour. Deeper and darker images work the best. Images...same
old actors--but in this film playing different roles.
at the end, great pace.
Programmers' comments in catalogue notes regarding Architectural
Symbols shown in Sydney Intermedia Network Matinaze 1995 screening
at Art Gallery of NSW.
silent and auto-hypnotic montage of 70's Letraset symbols".
Dirk de Bruyn
in Electronic Arts in Australia, edited by Nicholas Zurbrugg,
1994, p. 157.
is an abstraction of the image that occurs in Nick Ostrovskis'
work but it is a very different one. Emerging in the Melbourne
Super-8 Film Group in the early eighties, Ostrovskis has produced
a series of visually stunning kaleidoscopes of rushing images,
colours, photographs and gestural movements, all with great technical
like Gertrude Street (super-8, 1982) and Family Album
(super-8, 1983), to the recent 35mm film Colors (4 min,
1992), these films play with the physiology of the eye and its
ability to grasp the flashed images that are thrown one over the
top of another at you. A palimpsest of images are layered onto
the eye. Gertrude Street can be read as a landscape film
of pixilated images, gestures of camera movement and traces of
image that suggest geometric form. The rhythm of these works is
very clearly in the kinetic movement between the images and often
alternates between aggressive and soothing contemplative states."
Surge by Nick Ostrovskis, Melbourne Super 8 Film Group
Newsletter, No.89, March 1994. p.5.
people asked me how I made the film Brain Surge, so here
are a few notes on the making of the film.
idea was to make a mosaic of light, color and the zooming forward
movement of random images.
was shot on super-8 and it was blown up to 16mm internegative
at Interformat in San Francisco.
were done on small bits of paper or acetate which could fit into
35mm slide mounts and recopied onto super-8. The saturated color
patterns were achieved by pouring, painting and throwing food
dyes onto sheets of absorbent Chinese ink paper, tracing paper
or acetate, which was then left to dry. The most promising color
patterns were then cut out and mounted in 35mm slide mounts. Photographic
negatives, lettraset and scratched emulsion were also used in
slides containing the artwork were rephotographed onto super-8
using a slide copier on the front of the camera. The slides were
backlit using a movie light.
was composed especially for the film by Chris Knowles. Chris has
made films and done sound tracks for many film-makers and has
a good idea of how film-makers like me approach film. He has a
great sense of knowing when to anchor the music to key parts of
the film and when to allow the music to drift away independently
abit - within reason. I was very pleased with his sound track.
After I had
the 16mm internegative and music tape in the bag, it as just a
matter of a few trips to Sound Firm and Cinevex to get the end
16mm? Definitely give it a go!! Better still give up super-8 and
work on 16mm, 35mm or 70mm.
commenting on Brain Surge in the catalogue of the 43rd
Melbourne International Film Festival, June 1994, p.83.
drawings, shapes, symbols, flowers, landscape, snowflake etchings
and rich abstract colour fields in continuous kaleidoscopic collision;
Brain Surge is in rhythmic pursuit. Chris Knowles' post-systems
music track drives the film's relentless zooming and spinning
images on a journey, which like the most rewarding fairground
rides, is an end in itself."
description of Lens Spasm in the catalogue of the 44th
Film Festival, June 1995, p.91.
pulsating black-and-white reeling to spectrum-coloured configurations
and animated scratched emulsion images."
described in Australian Short Works 1995-96, Australian
is a frenetic, pulsating film with some spectrum coloured configurations.
It begins with a manic, chaotic, rhythm of animated patterns,
crosses, grids, swirls and lines which give way to a more relaxed,
soothing pace - diffracted rainbow images with superimposed hovering
review of Trance Mosaic in the catalogue of the 45th Melbourne
International Film Festival, July 1996, p.96.
of the durably creative figures on Melbourne's experimental film
scene. Nick Ostrovskis continues his Zooming Cinema of memory
and city. Ostrovskis experiments with what has always been fundamental
to the creation of the cinema image: that which persists after
the fragment of a dynamic image has passed the eye by into recollection.
The concave states of the filmmaker's private experiences of rooms
and thoughts and their symbols are stacked up, turned inside out
and onto the public spaces of Melbourne."
commenting in his article, "10 Years After", Melbourne
Super 8 Film Group Newsletter, No.110, February 1996, p. 7,
on the 10th anniversary retrospective of the Melbourne Super-8
Animation by Nick Ostrovskis. 1988.
the first half of this film Nick does quick zoom-ins on various
slides, mostly of flowers. In the second half he goes into reverse
and does quick zoom-outs. It sounds simple when written out like
that but the results are (to use a cliche) dazzling.
pouring towards us and then away, in a psychedelic cornucopia.
As in all of Nick's early films the absence of a soundtrack puts
all the attention on the visuals, there are no distractions."
See also Persistence
of Vision by Dirk de Bruyn
to Nick Ostrovskis profile