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Eastern Avenue

Year: 1985
Runtime: 58 min
Director: Peter Mettler
Producer: Peter Mettler
Cinematographer: Peter Mettler
Editor: Peter Mettler
Sound: Peter Mettler, Judy Dryland
Music: Jean Larivière, Christie MacFadyen, Joey Hardin, Fred Frith

Eastern Avenue strongly predicts the style and concerns of Picture of Light and Gambling, Gods and LSD. Shot during a long, rambling trip through Europe, it is a travelogue that evokes a sense of openness and mystification through the discovery of new landscapes.

In an essay called "Music in Film: Film as Music" Mettler wrote that "Eastern Avenue is almost a reaction to Scissere, although it too adopts the rhythms and processes of music to create an intuitively-based film." The struggle to achieve a genuinely intuitive artistic process in a medium as controlled and technological as cinema certainly presents his images and organized his footage in a way that would be open to discovery - and occasionally to epiphany. Sequences shot by the Berlin Wall, in dance clubs, and even on Toronto side streets combine to create a sense of organic progression and connection across disparate themes and movements.

Slightly less globe-trotting than Gambling, Gods and LSD and more restless than Picture of Light, Eastern Avenue is Mettler's first attempt to balance the global and the local. It offers a deeply affecting portrait of a wandering spirit in search of the transcendent.

By: Jerry White

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