From: gregg biermann (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Apr 24 2006 - 15:28:47 PDT
Hi John & Freya,
I think in film today "experimental" is a genre and the absence of
narrative or having other concerns that supersede developing narrative
are some of its defining characteristics. In earlier periods I think you
had artists interested in film but they didn't wake up and say "I think
I'll make an experimental film today". The codification always comes a
bit later when critics try to draw connections between and contextualize
various artistic practices. This makes it possible to wake up and say:
"I'm making an experimental film today and I'm submitting it to the
experimental category in a festival and the people who look at it will
recognize its various attributes as experimental film". Oddly enough
people working within the experimental film genre are not necessarily
experimenting any more than mainstream artists experiment -- and that is
OK by me. It is OK to refine or revise things but hopefully the
revisions offer something different -- at least a new riff.
john porter wrote:
>I think "experimental" is an adjective, not a genre.
>So there can be experimental fiction, experimental
>narrative, experimental drama, experimental
>documentary, experimental animation, etc.
>But what is "experimental film"? Any serious artist is
>always experimenting to some degree. A dichotomy
>arises when a medium is popular and consequently
>dominated by "commercial", "industry" or "mainstream"
>artists who DON'T experiment.
>Let's act as if WE are dominant (which we ARE,
>creatively) and refer to ourselves as simply
>"filmmakers", "videomakers" or "artists" as opposed to
>--- Freya <email suppressed> wrote:
>>I've noticed a few places lately people making a
>>distinction between experimental film and narrative
>>However surely many experimental films are quite
>>narrative too. Maya Deren and Kenneth Anger spring
>>mind. Possibly even Stan Brakhage!
>>Strangely this very subject came up at the Rose
>>screening yesterday too which I was glad to see. "So
>>it isn't just me who is finding this odd!" I
>>I've noticed it happening more and more tho.
>>Rose even went as far as to suggest it would be
>>possible to have experimental fiction films. I
>>thought of it in quite that way before, just that
>>films were very narrative.
>>But do any of you really think there is a clear
>>seperation between the two or is it just something
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>John Porter, Toronto, Canada
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