Notes on the Circus ★★★½

Perhaps the ultimate "bodies in space" movie, or bodies examined as the spectacle via their motion, sped up to avoid confusing the spectacle of the circus with the spectacle of the body itself, and occasionally juxtaposed on top of each other to view how bodies can be seen as both individual and alike (whether man or animal). The pop music provides a new rhythm that separates us from the original spectacle as well—we match the motions to music, but see the bodies through Mekas's perspective instead of their objective reality. "I just recorded my reactions to what was happening around me," Mekas states in an interview, suggesting the active gaze of the camera, the meshing of a singular, subjective perspective onto the objective mechanical view. And through his editing, Mekas turns a real world event into his own personal diary.

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