What is experimental film, and why is it called that? Artists and poet working in celluloid since before WWI have always found themselves in a no man's land. Excluded both from the art ... See full summary »
The film was made by colorful printing of footage combined with drawing directly on film. The bouncy music drives home the message heard at the end of the film, promoting the GPO (General ... See full summary »
The story about a few days in the life of truck driver Georgi seems to be a never-ending nightmare, a spiral of violence and abuses of power. A man goes to work and on his way he is sucked ... See full summary »
Tsai Ming-liang returns with this latest entry in his Walker series, in which his monk acquires an unexpected acolyte in the form of Denis Lavant as he makes his way through the streets of a sun-dappled Marseille.
Forest fires burn in Sumatra; a smoke covers Kuala Lumpur. Grifters beat an immigrant day laborer and leave him on the streets. Rawang, a young man, finds him, carries him home, cares for ... See full summary »
A runaway seeks refuge with her aunt and uncle in Baltimore and finds their marriage ending and her cousin in crisis. In the days that follow, the family struggles to let go of the past while searching for new things to hold onto.
The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or ... See full summary »
A rhythmically edited alphabet composed of street and shop signs shot in New York City and other elements is gradually replaced by repeated seemingly abstract shots in this influential structuralist film.
A film director, Jean, his producer, Marc, and his assistant, Lucette, board the Trans-Europ-Express in Paris bound for Antwerp. Once in their compartment it occurs to them that the drama ... See full summary »
What is experimental film, and why is it called that? Artists and poet working in celluloid since before WWI have always found themselves in a no man's land. Excluded both from the art world and from the film industry, they bodly created a grassroots network for making and showing their films. They also created a profound body of work that continues to influence our culture. I wanted to share a few of the films I love and introduce you some of the free, radicals artists who made them. Written by
I'm not sure why director Chodorov spends the first part of this movie talking mainly about himself. First he lets you know he's an experimental filmmaker, and when he mentions other, more famous, filmmakers, he talks about them in the context of what they meant to his own works. Perhaps he felt it was necessary to explain why he wanted to make the movie, or to give some context as to why these filmmakers were significant, but it's like telling someone about the time you met Hemingway and then spending the first 15 minutes talking about the book you're working on.
Just as I was about to give up hope there would be any sort of documentary at all, Chodorov got down to the business of talking about other people. While he briefly discusses works throughout the history of film, he is mainly focused on a few New York experimental filmmakers.
The movie is a mix of interviews and clips along with some general context. I'm not big on underground cinema (although I did like the namesake clip, Free Radicals and the works the guy who did the Gilliam- style - before Gilliam - cutout animation), but if you are, clips tend to be generously long, letting audiences fully appreciate the works. The interviews are generally interesting.
There isn't much shape to this movie, as the director feels letting you hear the filmmakers and see their works is all you need. The closest thing to a them is that experimental film making is the least lucrative art of the avant-garde.
If you're really interesting in the subject, or you don't realize that you would be fascinated by experimental film if you just saw some, you'll probably really enjoy this. But while some documentary makers can bring any subject to life for any audience, that's not the case here. How much you like this will depend a lot on how much you want to like it.
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