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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 »


Pip Chodorov


Lucy Allwood, Pip Chodorov (story) | 3 more credits »


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

Good Documentary
3 November 2013 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

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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Official Sites:

DVD | Official site DVD


France | USA


English | French

Release Date:

3 August 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Free Radicals See more »


Box Office


EUR590,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,350, 5 August 2012

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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