Where's the tumble weed?

9 posts / 0 new
Last post
Brecht Debackere's picture

This forum seems to be pretty abandoned,... where is everybody hanging out? 

I can't believe there's so little interest in experimental cinema... maybe everyone's on the Frameworks mailing list? 'Cause they're sure not in /r/experimentalfilm 

Marcos Ortega's picture
I wish I knew

I know there is some interest on experimental films, Brecht. Figures of visits to the websiite and its social 'complements' via Facebook and Twitter say so. But it seems the forum format is not something this particular bunch uses... Any ideas?

Brecht Debackere's picture
the forum format is not

the forum format is not something this particular bunch use

It would seem so...Maybe there's nothing left to discuss...which I highly doubt. 

I don't have any bright ideas at the moment, but I'll think about it... 


Marcos Ortega's picture
Fortunately not! Lots of

Fortunately not! Lots of things to discusss, in my opnicion. Though it seems the debate always goes back to the same old topics: film vs video, cinema vs gallery, etc...

Anonymous's picture
Where's the tumble weed?

Yes, there's plenty to discuss - for example, using DVDs of experimental films to give audiences a new way of watching films. They can jump around from chapter to chapter within a film to create their own unique viewing experience instead of watching from start to finish as with mainstream movie entertainment. A lot of films would benefit from this approach. I'm actualy encouraging it in my latest release EXIT.

But how many people are going to pick up the theread and discuss it?

Maybe people are too scared to be identified as 'experimental filmmakers' lest they get called 'wankers' by people who don't like anything unusual.

MEstes's picture
Hi David

I'm not a filmmaker, but have been watching A-G since 1966. I have rather strong opinions on the art form, too strong for the mealy mouthed academics at Frameworks. If you, or anyone else would like a lively discussion, I promise to participate. In the past I haven't checked the forum with any frequency, but I'll mend my ways. I do check nearly everyday for new DVD releases since Marcos is exceptional at keeping up to date.

MEstes's picture
Experimental Cinema topics of conversation

Here are some topics I would enjoy discussing:

1) A-G classifications, I.E, what are the basic "types" of Experimental Cinema? Visual Music, certainly. Poetic Cinema, definitely. Essay Film, Diary film, and Personal Documentary. And more, and a mixture of each. I find Sitney's nomenclature to be inadequate, focusing more on personal taste than descriptive classifications.

2) Why has academia stolen A-G from the aesthetic community? Does the fact that many filmmakers scurry to academia for money and security hurt the form, or help it?

3) I'm a big fan of James Benning, and watching his films poses many questions for me. Is there a role for A-G as background, like music currently holds? I find having a JB film on the screen increases conversational intensity, just as music does. Is this disrespectful to the filmmaker? 

...and well, many other subjects, I'm afraid few would be interested in. 


Marcos Ortega's picture
Thanks, Michael. Those are

Thanks, Michael. Those are very interesting subjects. I usually refrain from being the first to answer, but I can't resist adding my 2c here.,,

1) Yes, Sitney's nomeclature was inadequate from the start, since it is very limited and leaves out many types of filmmaking. But it's funny that you have left Structural Films out :-) Also Materialist Films (according to Gidal's classification). Then there is a certain kind of 'avant-garde fiction' for lack of a better term, which I've always considered to be on the line.

2) That is an endemic problem of Academia, and not only related to A-G. This reminds me of someone saying (I cannot remember right now who) that real experimental film ended when filmmakers started having teaching postiions. The problem with teaching, Academia... is that they create the concept of canon, set what's 'right' or 'wrong'. In many ways this may have hurt the form but, for example, until very recently the main clients of the archives and cooperatives were the universities where there was a space for this medium to be shown and taught.

3) When you mention background music, I instantly think of elevator music,.. :-) A-G films have been used as 'background' (Sonic Youth played Brakhage's films at their concerts; some of Bill Morrion's early pieces were made to be used as background in theater pieces...), but do you mean just using those pieces like some bars do screening Hollywood films in the back wall?




MEstes's picture
Discussion subjects

Your points are all worth discussing, but I'd like to focus on one subject at a time. Looking at it, thinking about it, and possibly discarding it as trivial. Toward that end, I will write a post on my thoughts about "structuralism" in experimental film. The term itself, some common beliefs about which films are structural, and some examples of films usually considered structural. Since I'm rather slow-witted, I need to spend some time reading and viewing before expressing my opinion.  Next day or two, I promise.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Replaces [VIDEO::http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=someVideoID::aVideoStyle] tags with embedded videos.
  • Use [fn]...[/fn] (or <fn>...</fn>) to insert automatically numbered footnotes.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <br> <p> <br/> <u> <img> <hr>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Use <bib>citekey</bib> or [bib]citekey[/bib] to insert automatically numbered references.
  • This creates an in line reference to another publication.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.