Compelling interviews with notables in avant-garde cinema offer insights into moving image art--its creative processes, formative influences, and hidden psychic effects. Through interviews with George Manupelli, Chick Strand, Tom Gunning, Lynne Sachs, Jay Rosenblatt, Martha Colburn, Evan Meaney, Mike Hoolboom, Robert Nelson, and Nina Menkes, Strange Questions links powerful personal stories with the contemporary media-scape.
Questions addressed in this collection include:
What role does the audience play in the creative process?
Can art-making be egoless?
Is perception reality?
What is the role of intention in the creative process?
What counts as storytelling? Are experimental filmmakers telling stories a different way or doing something completely different?
What was the motive of the cave artists?
What is more important: conviction or compromise?
Is ambition based more on fear or joy?
Accolades from award-winning experimental filmmakers:
"Fialka is a damn good interviewer. His questions are sometimes so precise that it tickles and sometimes so grand and thought provoking that one feels on the edge of a new spiritual awareness." --Lynne Sachs
"Fialka asks unexpected Questions about important Ideas, eliciting Answers that can surprise even those doing the answering. My Interview with him taught me something about myself; it was a Gift." --David Gatten
"Fialka's was the funniest interview I have ever had. He has developed a very wise way of triggering thoughts in the interviewee." --Leighton Pierce
"Fialka's interview had me buzzing inside with thoughts and memories that his engaging questions set in motion. Super stimulation." --Larry Gottheim
"I thank Gerry Fialka so much. I really enjoyed his interview with me, especially his unjaded joie de vivre, hearty laugh, and endless pursuit of knowledge sparked by social curiosity." --Phil Solomon.
"Gerry Fialka is a master interviewer. Working out of his natural sympathies and his erudition, Gerry cannily and cheerfully guides his interviewees along a path of Socratic inquiry that goes far deeper than the average Q & A and possibly deeper than the interviewee thought himself/herself capable of going. With Gerry at the helm, the journey really is about the destination and not just the journeying." --Fred Worden
"Fialka is a meteor shower in the contemporary media arts discourse. He's blowing my mind." -- Craig Baldwin
Gerry Fialka, artist, writer, and para-media ecologist, lectures on experimental film, avant-garde art, and subversive social media at NYU, USC, UCLA, Cal Arts and MIT. He has been called "the multi-media Renaissance man" by the Los Angeles Times and "a cultural revolutionary" by the LA Weekly. Fialka's interviews have been published in books by Mike Kelley and Sylvere Lotringer. They have been heard on Pacifica KPFK radio, and have appeared in magazines: Canyon Cinema, OtherZine, CineSource, Artillery, AMASS magazine, LA Jazz Scene, Jazz News, Bird, Flipside, Venice BeachHead. "Gerry Fialka is Los Angeles' preeminent underground film curator." - Robin Menken, CinemaWithoutBorders
Rachael Kerr is a filmmaker, writer, and researcher. She is a 2017 graduate of the University of Michigan Department of Screen Arts and Cultures. As a student she collaborated on the feature documentary The Big House, now slated for theatrical release in Japan. In Winter 2017, Rachael was part of a UM course taught be Terri Sarris and supported by the University's Bicentennial Committee, which explored the AAFF's long relationship to the University.
David E. James has written or edited a dozen books on avant-garde cinema and other forms of non-commodity culture, especially in Los Angeles. His latest publication is Rock ‘N’ Film: Cinema’s Dance With Popular Music (2016). His films have screened at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Los Angeles Filmforum, and Canyon Cinema in San Francisco.