Berlin Horse and Marvo Movie


Two experimental films by British filmmakers. Berlin Horse (1970) at Ubuweb is a hypnotic piece of minimalism by Malcolm Le Grice who subjects found footage of exercising horses to a series of loopings and filterings that push the degraded images to a point of textured abstraction. Of note with this film is the equally minimal and repetitive score, a piano loop created by Brian Eno. This was before he gained prominence as a member of Roxy Music but the slight piece of experimentation points the way to his post-Roxy career and his ambient investigations. Berlin Horse is available on DVD from Lux, with a selection of Le Grice’s other shorts.


Marvo Movie (1967) at Europa Film Treasures is a typically frenetic work by Jeff Keen, four minutes of heavily cut-up sound and vision with collage, animation and multiple exposures throughout. Despite the year of its creation, the effect is less psychedelic and more like an amphetamine rush.

Malcolm Le Grice at YouTube
Jeff Keen at YouTube

2 thoughts on “Berlin Horse and Marvo Movie”

  1. When I first saw “Berlin Horse” a couple of years back, it reminded me immediately of Bill Morrison’s wonderful “Decasia: The State of Decay” (2002).

    Love watching that work of decayed abstracted looping – form merging through only to corrode again into another.

    However, I’m not a fan of its soundtrack. Much prefer something by Coil, NWW or Meat Beat Manifesto for that matter, for Decasia viewings.

    Thanks for the heads up on Jeff Keen, John. Will investigate further.

  2. I note they always describe the soundtrack as “sound” rather than music. I’ve never seen Eno talk about this but I’m fairly sure he would have created the loop along similar lines to Le Grice’s film.

    I really like Decasia, this reminds me to watch it again.

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