This film is a scrambled narrative that illustrates, in soap opera fashion, life of artists in Lower Manhattan and at the same time dramatizes questions about the nature of filmic representation. Split decision is a boxing term used when the judges divide their votes in finding a winner. In this case the fight is between the two heroes of the film who are seen intermittently in a bar, negotiating a pick-up, and at home, breaking up in a domestic quarrel. The fight is also in the telling, between modes of conventional representation and modes of radical representation - between conventional continuity editing, and abstraction created through computer generated grids. The film features an appearance by Carolee Schneeman and digital imaging from before the era of personal computers.

“The fact that the film embraces narrative shows how far Brand has come since emerging in the early ‘70’s as a virtuoso of American structural cinema. ‘Split Decision’ may go down in history as the first-ever topological melodrama, combining a witty scenario on conversational ambivalence with a frenzy of visual ambivalence, produced by fragmentation of the image into a kind of spatio-temporal mosaic.”
- Time Out, London, July 13-19, 1979

Color | Sound | 15 minutes

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Bill Brand | 1970s

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