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Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film (2011)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography | 3 August 2012 (USA)
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 »



(as Lucy Allowood), | 3 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pip Chodorov ...
Himself - Narrator
Ken Jacobs ...
Himself - Filmmaker
Hans Richter ...
Himself - Filmmaker (archive footage)
Stan Brakhage ...
Himself - Filmmaker
Robert Breer ...
Himself - Filmmaker
Peter Kubelka ...
Himself - Filmmaker
Jonas Mekas ...
Himself - Filmmaker
Stephan Chodorov ...
Himself - Writer & Producer
Len Lye ...
Himself - Filmmaker (archive footage)
Maurice Lemaître ...
Himself - Filmmaker
M.M. Serra ...
Herself - New York Filmmakers' Cooperative
Michael Snow ...
Himself - Artist & Filmmaker
Nam June Paik ...
Himself - Artist (archive footage)
Stan Vanderbeek ...
Himself - Filmmaker (archive footage)
John Mhiripiri ...
Himself - Anthology Film Archives


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 Anonymous

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Not Rated






Release Date:

3 August 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Free Radicals  »

Box Office


€590,000 (estimated)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Features Le film est déjà commencé? (1951) See more »

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Good as far as it goes
31 March 2014 | by (Venice CA) – See all my reviews

This film is a personal product, almost an experimental film in itself. It starts off with a bit of self-promotion which is best forgotten because what comes later is better. It does not pretend to be "The" history of Experimental film (only "a history"), fortunately, and on that basis it is somewhat of a success. It focuses on the NY circle around the Film-Makers Cooperative, founded by the Mekas brothers. The director Pip Chodorov had personal access to lots of the creators featured here, such as Hans Richter, Stan Brakahge, Ken Jacobs, and several others. We see lots of footage, intermixed with interviews with selected folks. So yes it's good, and worth a look. However, lots and lots of creators are left out of this or given very short treatment: Kenneth Anger, Oscar Fischinger, Fernand Leger, Bruce Conner, Mary Ellen Bute, Larry Jordan, and more. So it could have been more expansive. As long as you know that going in, you are fine. See this and enjoy it.

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