Man with a Movie Camera (1929) is Dziga Vertov’s most well-known film. Film schools teach it as a classic example of montage, the city film, and early documentary. It gets screened by repertory cinemas and can easily be located on DVD or online. However, Man with a Movie Camera did not always enjoy top billing… Read more »
Entries by Laura Ivins
Robert Altman is known for eliciting nuanced performances from his actors. His 1977 film, 3 Women, is no different. In it, Sissy Spacek plays the inscrutable Pinky Rose, a childlike woman who is infatuated with Shelley Duvall’s character, Millie Lammoreaux. Pinky morphs over the course of the film, eventually adopting Millie’s persona, much to Millie’s confusion.
Take a film you’ve created and cut it into four sections, equal in length, and spool those sections on four different film reels. Then, hire someone to splice them back together, taking one foot from each roll, in succession, in a 1-2-3-4 pattern, repeated mechanically, for 20 minutes. This was the method used to create… Read more »
As audience members, we seem to intuitively know how to interpret films. We accurately categorize films as fiction and documentary without giving it a second thought. But how do we know which films are fiction or nonfiction? What conventions do filmmakers draw from to code their films as representations of fantasy or reality?
Before Disney’s Fantasia (Joe Grant & Dick Huemer, 1940) introduced the idea of visual music to mass audiences, experimental filmmakers had been playing with the idea for decades. As early as 1909, Italian futurists were painting abstract forms onto film stock, attempting to translate the purity of classical compositions into moving image media.
Twin brothers Stephen and Timothy Quay are known for their entrancing, and sometimes unsettling, stop motion worlds. Their films bring us into hidden spaces, filled with discarded objects and compulsive desire. In addition to their unique puppet design and elegantly articulated movement, the Quays also invest great care in their cinematography. They are unafraid to… Read more »