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UAL Research Online

Rosabelle Believe: A dream film about seeing and believing

Shore, Tim (2002) Rosabelle Believe: A dream film about seeing and believing. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Shore, Tim

“Rosabelle Believe” was a film short using animation (5 minutes, 23 seconds) that was first screened publicly at the Edinburgh Festival in 2002

“Rosabelle Believe” is a film about seeing and believing. Its point of departures are the illusion of movement which characterised early film and the illusionism of the famous escapologist Harry Houdini. Early film was initially thought of as being the province of magic and early footage of Houdini doubled the magical component of illusion as both form and content. The film begins with an Edison cylinder recording of Houdini’s voice that constitutes a secret coded message between Houdini and his wife Rosabelle which could be used after his death to imply his escape from the grave.

Research for the film took a number of forms including a study of the extensive Houdiana materials including Ruth Brandon’s The Life And Many Deaths Of Harry Houdini. An interview took place with Mick Hanzlik who is a ‘master locksmith’ and Houdini expert, visits to the Magic Circle were arranged and the original Houdini cylinder wax recording was located and permission to use it cleared.

The animated film was based on the premise that Houdini could escape whatever the imprisoned circumstances and keep his reputation and his word to Rosabelle. Using archive footage reworked with new animated artwork “Rosabelle Believe” builds the illusion of escape into illusionic filmmaking techniques which recall early cinema.

Following its screening at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2002, it has been shown at upward of 15 festival in galleries/cinemas/theatres including Neuer Standort (Vienna, 25/11/04), The Minna Gallery (San Francisco, 27/09/04), the Axion Theatre (Houston, 17/09/04) and most recently at Central Cinema (Seattle, 18/11/07). It was also part of the programme for the 2003 International Film Festival Rotterdam.

A film still appears on:


Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RAE2008 UoA63
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 1 May 2002
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 23:55
Last Modified: 03 May 2011 10:58
Item ID: 1407
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1407

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