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 »
Entries by Laura Ivins
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 »
As rhythmic meditations on urban spaces that shied away from character and narrative, city films of the 1920s and 1930s blended modernism, documentary, everyday life, and abstraction. The filmmakers took their cameras into the streets, capturing architecture, people, and industrial tempos, and then they pieced together their footage using graphic and thematic modes of organization.
Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky is known for his enigmatic films. Though his filmography is brief – in part due to political constraints in the former Soviet Union – he left an indelible mark on the art of cinema.