Jack Goldstein 1945-2003
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is the title of a 2-minute-long, 16mm colour film made by Jack Goldstein in 1975. The film shows the animated emblem of the Hollywood studio, a lions head, set in an ornamental, (almost) perfectly round frame on a ground of deepest red, flanked symmetrically by heraldically curled strips of film. Already familiar from innumerable trailers, the lion roars and jerks its head to one side. The movement is stopped at short intervals and rewound. The lion has to begin again and again without ever reaching fulfilment. The majestic gesture congeals into catatonic jerks.

The sight of the MGM lion, locked into this cage of repetition, could be described as an infinite delay. Goldstein constructed the image through the editing and subsequent addition of found footage. The prelude, the pre-image, the overture are all thrown uselessly back on themselves. The image of the lion – forced into a traumatic, hospitalised rhythm of repetition – does not introduce the movie anymore but has to serve on its own as the main feature. Of course, it appears totally inadequate. The twitching lion does not occupy us.

Jack Goldstein in UbuWeb Sound