Pip Chodorov's portraits of filmmakers, produced for ARTE tv channel between December 2001 and June 2004.
1. Anthology Film Archives - 2001, 7'
- A portrait of the film archive founded in New York by Jonas Mekas and friends in 1970. Today Anthology is an archive with two theatres, a gallery and a library doing active preservation and restoration of experimental and avant-garde films. Features John Mhiripiri, Robert Haller, Jonas Mekas, Andy Warhol, Julius Ziz and Auguste Varkalis.
2. Jonas Mekas - 2002, 10'
- Also titled "Jonas Keeps Shooting Around." The interview was shot in France in April 2002 at the Pantin film festival, Côté Court, which featured a complete retrospective of his films. Jonas details the history of his filmmaking, adding that he is not known as a filmmaker in America but rather as an organizer, publisher and journalist. With clips from Walden, Lost Lost Lost, Scenes from the Life of Andy Warhol, and Zefiro Torna.
3. Boris Lehman - 2002, 10
- "Boris in No Man's Land." Shot in Brussels, late 2001. Boris shows us around his many spaces, sits at his Steenbeck and explains his philosophy: refusing screenplays, budgets, and distributors, Boris travels the world, his film reels under his arm, meeting his audience face to face. At the junction of fiction, documentary and experimental, Boris in fact walks alone with his Arriflex, filming every aspect of his life.
4. Stan Brakhage - 2003, 15'
- "A Visit to Stan" in Victoria, Canada, January 2003. Reading the first few sentences of his 1963 book "Metaphors on VIsion," Brakhage is inspired to describe his life's work and explain his vision of cinema. One senses he is summing up how best to look at his films - as music, as poetry - in what was to be his last interview. He also unrolls his 35mm film in progress "Chinese Series" to describe his working process (spit and fingernails).
5. Kenneth Anger - 2003, 15'
- "The Spells of Kenneth Anger" was shot in Hollywood in July, 2003. Anger gives an overview of his life and we see clips of his many films. He touches on his run-in with Charles Manson, being influenced by Alistair Crowley, working with Marianne Faithful, and he shows us his favorite place in LA: the Hollywood cemetary.
6. Frédérique Devaux - 2003, 10'
- A contemporary member of the Lettrist movement, Frédérique Devaux works with signs and symbols, with found footage, scratching and painting on film, making collages of scraps and shards of film glued to other films, and rhythmically optical printing the result. Her latest series of short films, "K," speaks of her homeland of Kabylie, Algeria. In this portrait she talks about her work and demonstrates her tools. This was shot in her home and at the L'Abominable cooperative do-it-yourself film lab in Paris.
7. Maurice Lemaître - 2004, 13'
- A founding member of the Lettrist movement with Isidore Isou, Maurice Lemaître describes here the genesis of the movement, his friendship with Isou, their discoveries in filmmaking and their inventions of infinitesimal and supertemporal art. Shot in his studio in Montmartre, we see him at work and showing his paintings, sculptures and films.
8. Robert Breer - 2004, 10'
- Filmed at his home in Tappan, New York, Breer shows us his filmmaking equipment and his art studio and explains how he started making animated films that go fast, and animated sculptures that go slow. He describes the Paris art scene of the 1950s and his penchant for making experimental films (they coined him a snotty American radical and accused him of ruining their eyesight). Now finally he allowed to be both a filmmaker and an artist.
9. Jeff Scher - 2004, 10'
- "Romancing the rotoscope, Jeff Scher is top of the world, mom" wrote Adolfas Mekas. Known for his Animated Life series on the New York Times website (http://scher.blogs.nytimes.com), Jeff is in fact New York's most prolific experimental filmmaker. This portrait shows Jeff at home, using the rotoscope, painting animation cards, demonstrating his optical toys, filming in the streets and explaining his love of experimental filmmaking as well as his optimistic embrace of future technology.
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