In Circular Breathing, there is the sense of a disturbing narrative accumulating and dissipating through each successive set of scenes. Images from the streets of Tangier, a ship on the open sea and the interior of a mosque juxtapose with a man chopping wood and a cigarette burning slowly in an ashtray. An older woman reading and large thick hands loading a pistol unfold next to bladed stems and a close-up of an insect dragging its prey. Throughout all the segments, there is the recurring image of a woman’s hands playing a piano. The music, however, distorted by the changes of speed, can be identified as Vexations by Eric Satie.
Courtesy of the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation.