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By David Finkelstein | June 25, 2007

This odd, affecting film shows a series of visual and sound textures which veer between abstraction and the concrete. Many sequences show a lone figure in a variety of dark spaces such as a field, a creepy corridor in an abandoned building, or a vast interior filled with water, who is “writing” on the space with the light from two flashlights. The slower frame rate of the footage allows the odd shapes illuminated by the beams to hang in the viewer’s eye for a moment. Some of the other footage includes clouds passing over a hill, a tree which slowly passes from being completely out of focus into crisp clearness, and an amazing sequence of some kind of white powdery thing which is moving around in beautiful patterns poised between chaos and order; it might be snow blowing in the wind, or it might be an animal’s fur. The sound is a collage of traffic sounds, wind, birds, as well as ominous orchestral and other music.

At one climax in the film we see an odd iconic collage of several images which flash over each other in the center of the screen: a tunnel, a ladder, and what looks like a camera lens. It is as if, having probed deeply into the frightening hidden depths of the psyche, the artist has entered another level of reality which simultaneously plunges him into darkness, lifts him up to the heights, and inundates him with images.

Lacking any overt message or concept, “Omen” exhibits a consistent power to evoke heightened and altered states of mind throughout its duration. No image is less than striking in it’s composition. Rose has unlocked for himself (and for us) the ability to take the materials of everyday reality and, by pushing them towards the realm of the abstract, open doorways into the wonderful.

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