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?
One of my favorite actresses from Studio Era Hollywood is Ida Lupino; in fact, she’s one of the reasons I love Raoul Walsh’s High Sierra (1941). Many people know of Lupino as a Hollywood actress, but few know her as a director, screenwriter, and producer who worked in film and television from the mid- to… Read more »
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.
Animation has a rich history of ingenuity. Since almost the beginning of cinema, filmmakers have experimented with how and what to animate, from slices of wax to drawing directly on strips of film to the more traditional forms that we see in commercial animation. Below are four of my favorite experimental animation techniques: paint on… Read more »
Guest post by Michelle Spencer. With the release of The Beguiled this summer marking Sofia Coppola’s sixth feature film, it seemed an opportune time to revisit her directorial debut. Recently, she won Best Director at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival; making her the second female director to win in the festival’s seventy year history. Before… Read more »
Born April 29, 1917, this year would have been Maya Deren’s 100th birthday. In celebration of her contribution to experimental cinema, this video outlines some of the key principles informing Deren’s filmmaking. Deren wrote prolifically about her film practice, and the compilation of her writings – Essential Deren – has been one of my touchstones as… Read more »