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Safety Last
2'10"16mm film loop

Safety Last is a clip from Harold Lloyd’s film Safety Last, 1923. It shows him hanging from the side of a building, clinging onto the clock hands, which he pulls down from the 9 to the 6, dragging time backwards as he nearly falls. At the same time the film becomes increasingly scratched as it plays, as though he is literally being erased through time by the film. The film is a colour copy of the original black and white original so as the scratches peel away layers of emulsion, abstract colour gradually replaces measured time and perspective. The film enacts in a material way Harold Lloyd’s threatened death in the narrative, through the physical medium of the film. This is further accentuated as the film loop plays through the projector and adds to the scratches already on the film, getting more worn and scratched over time.

Safety Last


Editor  Catherine Yass
Film Edit
Film Print  Haghe Film
Film Loop  David Leister
Thanks to  Harold Lloyd Estate

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