Formed in 1983, the Experimental Film Coalition started holding regular monthly screenings starting in 1984. The screenings brought to Chicago the work of independent, experimental filmmakers across the country, as well as screening local work.
Screenings were held at the Randolph Street Gallery, an alternative performance and exhibition space located at 756 N. Milwaukee Ave. The Gallery eventually closed down in 1998 and donated their archives to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; which exhibits some of the Coalition’s flyers on their website.
Below is a sample of screening information culled from those archives, listed in chronological order:
2 Razor Blades, dir. Paul Sharits
Make Me Psychic, dir. Sally Cruikshank
Unsere Afrikareise, dir. Peter Kubelka
Roslyn Romance, dir. Bruce Baillie
Musical Poster #1, dir. Len Lye
My new favorite filmmaker is the American animator Jodie Mack. In 2012 I was in the audience at the Views from the Avant-Garde sidebar of the New York Film Festival and had the unexpected experience of dropping my jaw and having it remain fully in that position throughout the surface loveliness and aggregating intensity—both analytic and sensual—of Mack's lace flicker film Point de Gaze. Its young filmmaker has been making films since 2003—several of which are viewable on her website—with a flurrying productivity which belays the painstaking efforts taken to bring her animated films to life. The screening was the revelation of incredible talent, a moving effort of hands and mind, and it promised a great deal for the future.
That promise had already paid off in spades at the 2014 International Film Festival Rotterdam in January, which presented a program of Mack's recent short films not as a profile,
"Few terms are crueler than has-been. A has-been is Norma Desmond rattling around an empty mansion. Avoiding strong light like a vampire, bitterly dishing old enemies to skeptical interviewers. So focused on looking back that you never move forward.
Mickey Rooney was never a true has-been in his life, not with 90 years of work. Shorts and features, A pictures and B pictures, star turns and character parts. Social dramas, musicals, an impressive run of noirs, comedies, Emmy awards, sitcoms, a hit Broadway show. The Siren spotted him in The Muppets in 2011 and heard a college-age woman whisper to her companion,
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10. The Tale of the Fox
A sneaky fox plays a series of underhand tricks on his neighbours in the animal kingdom, among them a timorous hare and a gullible wolf. The king of the beasts, a lion, summons him to face charges but the fox proceeds to outwit everyone, including the king himself. When Ladislas Starevich told this tale in the 1930s it was by no means new – versions of the Reynard story had been circulating around Europe for the best part of a millennium – but the
Brussels, Belgium, April 28: A New York art film director yesterday was awarded second prize in the international experimental film competition and four other Americans won lesser awards.
The $5,000 prize went to Len Lye, New York, for his film “Free Radicals.”
The $10,000 first prize went to Walerian Borowczyk and Jan Lenica for their Polish film “Dom” (House).
Hilary Harris, New York; Francis Thompson, New York; Stan Brakhage, Denver, Colo., and Kenneth Anger, a San Franciscan who lives in Paris won medals.
Nearly half of the 133 films entered were from the United States. There were some boos in the World’s Fair Auditorium when Belgian Interior Minister Pierre Vermeylen announced the results. An international jury studied the films for a week before deciding.
Underground Film Journal notes: This was the 2nd edition of the Brussels Experimental Film Festival.
The film for which Kenneth Anger
In years past, I have attempted to present this extended article as a preview; my aim has been to send it off into the world either the day before of the day of Tiff's kick-off. That has proven impossible this year, and, dear reader, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee... But the fact that Wavelengths is a beat that is becoming harder and harder for one person to adequately cover is undoubtedly a sign of good health. Since last year, when Tiff enfolded the former Visions section (a space for formally adventurous narrative features) into Wavelengths (Tiff's experimental showcase), not only has interest in the section grown exponentially. The section can now more fully reflect
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The colours might look late-60s-psychedelic; some of the interaction between graphics and the human figure (at approx 1.40, for example) seems comparable with the experiments made by contemporary digital artists such as Klaus Obermaier. But this short animation, Rainbow Dance, was actually created back in 1936 as an advert for the Post Office Savings Bank. Between 1933 and 1940 the Gpo (now the Royal Mail) ran a film unit which produced dozens of short public-information films. The most famous was Night Mail with music by Benjamin Britten and words by Wh Auden, but while that was a classic black-and-white vision of Britain, avant-garde mainly in its combination of music and poetry, Len Lye's Rainbow Dance was one of several extravagantly experimental animations on which
And this is where things get interesting. Starting with this 2012 edition of the festival, the Wavelengths section is a much more broadly based, festival-wide category. In essence, it now subsumes the old Visions designation, which was Tiff’s home for formally challenging, feature-length arthouse fare. This merger, which may seem like a bit of a shotgun wedding to some, does in fact make sense.
Sadly, Wavelengths 2011 will be the final year for series curator Andréa Picard.
The fun kicks off with the Opening Night film, the demented superhero comedy Super, written and directed by former Troma go-to screenwriter James Gunn (Tromeo & Juliet); then ends with the Closing Night wallowing in Sydney’s seedy underbelly, X, by homegrown filmmaker Jon Hewitt.
Crammed between these two excursions into violence and depravity is a lineup filled with perverse visions, scandalous public figures, sickening horror, experimental pop culture remixes and more.
For Bad Lit: The Journal of Underground Film, the highlight of the fest is Usama Alshaibi‘s Profane, a complex psychological, psychosexual, spiritual morality play about a Muslim sex worker who endures a “reverse
The first thing you see on entering Capturing Colour is Loïe Fuller, or one of her imitators, performing the "Serpentine Dance" on the earliest kind of colour film, hand-tinted frame by frame. Fuller's act, which involved her whirling her silky costume about the stage of the Folies-Bergère with arms and sticks, while bathed in multi-coloured light, transfixed the poets, painters, and sculptors of fin-de-siècle Europe, who saw in the dance a return to the primitive and intuitive, a manifestation of "Art, nameless, radiant", as one of them had it.
Though the film is, conventionally speaking, a relic, the very unnaturalness of the colourist's splotchy handiwork is, speaking otherwise, true to Fuller's literary reputation, taking us a shade closer towards understanding what Mallarmé, intoxicated by her "limelit phantasmagoria", meant by "the
Dan Streible, director of The Orphan Film Symposium
Nothing was more compelling than the latest season of the HBO series In Treatment, in which psychotherapist Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne) begins his own talk therapy with a young new doctor (Amy Ryan). She nails him on all of his rationalizations and offers devastating insights into his psyche and his practice. Their verbal duels are sharply written and Byrne, who must carry every episode, creates one of the deepest,
Daniel Fawcett, a filmmaker and the founder of One+One, will participate on the panel and screen clips from Dirt, his second feature film. One of Fawcett’s stated goals is to further remove cinema from its relationship with money. He has committed One+One to being a free publication, available to read both on the web and in print.
Also, in the first edition of his journal, Fawcett wrote an editorial announcing his refusal to work in the traditional film industry to fund his own personal
This year, the Fnc Lab is showcasing two retrospectives; plus, a short film program of strictly 16mm films, films from the Korean Jeonju Digital Project, four feature-length projects and several special one-of-a-kind performances.
The retrospectives are of two key American women experimental filmmakers. First, in conjunction with the Double Negative Collective, the fest presents a career overview of Chick Strand, the eminent ethnographic filmmaker who sadly passed away last year at the age of 77.
Then, there’s also a retrospective of playful avant-garde filmmaker Marie Losier, who is well known for her collaborations with and film portraits of key underground figures like George Kuchar, Tony Conrad and Genesis P-Orridge.
Despite Renan’s title, he does cover the early European avant-garde, so many filmmakers from England, France, Germany, Holland and Russia — such as Oskar Fischinger, Luis Buñuel, Marcel Duchamp, Len Lye, Joris Ivens, Dziga Vertov — appear alongside the usual U.S. suspects, such as Kenneth Anger, Jonas Mekas, Stan Brakhage, Shirley Clarke, etc.
Actual events are few and far between, but they’re there if you dig around, like the meeting of the International Congress of Independent Film and its swift disbanding; and the formation of the New American Cinema Group. One thing that Renan included a lot of that I like
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