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 »
Guest post by Joan Hawkins, Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at Indiana University. It’s hard for people coming up now to understand how important movies were in the 1960s. 1968 especially. 1968 was a year of international revolution. It was the year of the Chicago Democratic Convention; Prague Spring and the subsequent Soviet… Read more »
Guest post by Terri Francis. African Diaspora cinemas and experimental films are established galaxies of research and creative endeavor, but rarely do they overlap in our everyday sense of things, despite a substantial and growing number of relevant and prominent artists and scholars whose work requires just such a comparative approach. You have to go… 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.
Guest post by Eric Zobel. Video artist Ryan Trecartin’s I-Be Area (2007) is an anarchic tour-de-force. Written, directed, and edited by Trecartin, the film tosses viewers into a hallucinogenic virtual world that is both Crayola colorful and utterly confusing. Using forms of new media, the tropes of soap opera and reality TV, and non-narrative filmmaking… 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.