A film in four parts. In "In the Room", a man and a woman in outlandish garb are sitting in a claw-foot bathtub smoking, while the man abuses a doll in various ways. In "They Stopped to ... 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 ... See full summary »
A portrait of Brakhage shot in Victoria, British Columbia, just a few months before his death. Filmmaker Pip Chodorov illustrates Brakhage's reflections on his art with short passages from his hand-painted films.
Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film (2012)
*** (out of 4)
Good documentary covering a brief history of the experimental films that gained popularity over the past four decades, although the avant-garde cinema has been around for as long as film has. If you're familiar with names like Stan Brakhage, Robert Breer, Maurice Lemaitre and Ken Jacobs then you're really going to enjoy this documentary because you get to hear from them as well as various other filmmakers who create these types of films. If you're unaware of these names then you're still going to have a good time watching this because you're going to get to see some great film clips and learn a little bit of history. The "A" in the title is a strong one to pay attention to because the film doesn't set out to the "the" history of experimental films but instead just a certain aspect of it. I think someone like Georges Meliels could have been included here and there are some other famous early avant-garde films that are not mentioned. Instead, the documentary really focuses on films that happened after WWII and this is where the before mentioned names come into play. There's also talk about some of the hard times that these filmmakers would face as there's certainly not much funding for these types of movies and there are even smaller crowds willing to watch them.
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