Muse of Cinema is a rowdy frolic through early moving picture technology and illuminates the atmosphere of the darkened, Victorian era theater. Magic lantern slides spring to life as they directly address the audience, highlighting many problems endemic to this time, and which communicate technical difficulties prevalent in the projection booths of the era. In Muse of Cinema, the photochemical properties of the filmic medium were cultivated over five years using a flashlight, not a camera, to expose the film. A solar eclipse gleams out from the screen, shimmering and crackling with rhythmic reverberations. The process of this detail in Muse was demonstrated in the previous film Torchlight Tango, which is in effect a film that documents the production of Muse of Cinema. The magic lantern is the grandfather of motion pictures; the slides in Muse provide a cinematic reflection of this history. All slide images were shot on a slide duplicator using the apparatus in a way that diverges from its original function. The original hand-processed film material was then mastered by Laitala on a 35mm optical printer at the Cineworks CO-OP in Vancouver, B.C.. The soundtrack was made in collaboration with Robert Fox, working diligently to create various sound/image relationships that combine various sources in a lyrical fashion that move anachronistically through time. Muse of Cinema was also hand-processed and toned to provide a meditation on this medium of alchemy and magic.
The Muse of Cinema Won a Golden Gate Award in 2007 from the San Francisco International Film Festival
Muse of Cinema was sponsored by the Princess Grace Foundation's Special Project Grant, 2004 and the Museum of Contemporary Cinema Grant, 2005