Surfing the Black
Inflation of radical phrases as opposed to a lack of radical action
curated by Žiga Testen and Dubravka Sekulić

We were asked to make a movie poster for the Yugoslavian Black Wave film, Tri. We picked a long scene from this extremely terse film and watched it without subtitles. We individually scripted the scene, filling in what words we could guess from the nonverbal action. Then we put our two texts together with the corresponding subtitles from the film's .srt file, to produce a tri-vocal script for the the film fragment.
with Popahna Brandes
image / text index


We watched this movie together. So we watched this movie together months ago—do you remember? The movie? Months ago do you remember the movie? Hello Hello? You're frozen! We watched the movie, TRI, together—do you remember? We watched the movie Tri together—do you remember? Yes. Well, what? TRI as in, not try, as in three, Tri as in not try, as in 3. Yeah, so it was structured in thirds. It was structured in thirds. I also remember that it was black and white and it was black and white, not a lot of speaking, actually. There was very mostly these sequences of images. Mostly this sequence of images—but you remember the three segments? I don't think I agree with that, I don't agree with that. I think we didn't understand the speaking. We didn't understand the speaking, but maybe i'm wrong. Well, I remember because the srt file would fit on a poster, the whole thing would fit on a poster. For the poster—no, it's very, like, terse, no its very terse. I remember the village scene; I remember where we took this from. I rememeber where we took the text from—he was questioning her. He had set up a little —he was typing up a report, an impromptu interoggation—interrogation center. He was typing up a report. How did we pick that scene, I don't recall how did we pick that scene I think. I think we transcribed or we didn't transcribe, because we, we didn't transcribe, we watched the scene without the subtitles. We watched the scene without the subtitles. We each separately wrote, we separately wrote. We watched without the subtitles and while it was playing without pausing we wrote what we thought was happening. I think we picked that section because it seemed to have the most ... engaging, what? Because it seemed to have the most engaging combination of text and image, combination of text and image, I don't remember why. i don't remember why something, or it was because we were trying to find most of what the film was about, most of the what the film was about, I really don't remember. I really don't remember, I didn't hear anything you said. I didn't hear anything you said, I said I don't remember why but it seemed, yeah, five minutes, it was like 5 minutes. It was in the room then outside. It was in the room and then it was outside, long gazes, fruit: there was melon. There was a melon, she was eating a melon very hungrily after having been kept as a prisoner all day. After having been kept as a prisoner all day, he was being interrogated, the guy interrogated by his superior. There was a photograph within, there was a photograph within there, yeah. they were talking about it, there wasn't actually a photograph. There wasn't actually a photograph, okay so we have 30 seconds, so in the writing that we made the third voice was this subtext. The third voice was the subtitle text, in a sense it was a dialogue with us—it was a dialogue with us, but there was this third kind of thing. But then there was this third kind of thing, so it was triangulated, triangulated somehow, but it was simultaneous: 2 simultaneous 3 versions as it was understood. Two based on our, based on our—i mean it wasn't based on, it wasn't based on it was in fact, it was in fact the very thing, that's all it was. What what do you mean? What do you mean? I mean we weren't basing our text, we weren't basing our text—the subtitle voice wasn't the subtitles, it was the subtitles voice and our, and our yeah. That is an interesting distinction. Yeah this is an interesting—i thought I would make that, I thought I would make that distinction to would rap that up. Anything else to wrap this up—there was also the typewriter. There's also the typewriter: that was another reason we chose that scene. We wanted to write about the writing, because we wanted to write about the writing. We saw the characters, you saw writing, the typing happening. I think you saw the typing, the writing, it was in Serbian. In Serbian so you didn't know another frame within a frame, another frame within the frame. Are you waiting for me? Are you waiting for me? That's good, I think that's enough—i think that's enough, let's see. Let's see.