Dir. James Whitney, 16mm Color 00:17:00
DWIJA, the "fire" film, is named with a Sanskrit word meaning "twice-born" or "bird," since the bird is born once inside the shell and again when it breaks free into the outer world. This film is the prologue; it is meant to establish a mood, to clean out the vision, so to speak, in order that the following films may be seen fresh. Very little "happens" in the film. Over roughly 15 minutes, we see eight alchemical drawings that represent a bird (symbolic of the soul) trapped inside an alembic where a repeated process of distillation takes place. In the last drawing, the bird escapes. These images are seen over and over, just as the distillation process takes boiling and re-boiling. Sometimes, the images are in dense layers; at others, the colors overlap to "white-out" the image altogether. The film is hypnotic, relaxing, cleansing. The less you know about alchemy, the better, since the effect is a purely physical, kinetic one.
[Source: William Mortiz, The iotaCenter Website]