Re: judges' statement - Popularity of experimental cinema.

From: Lundgren (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jun 25 2006 - 16:52:45 PDT

To Pip Chodorov:

I would have to partly dissagree. I think what you're acctually seeing is
partly the effect you've had on your own enviroment.

From my perspective (being a young cineast, with only a few years of
experience from experimental cinema) it rather seems that the world of
experimental cinema is clearly a secluded world of its own.

Being from Sweden I was unaware of the "Avant 06" screening in Karlstad
(though not surprised... when I learned of it it seemed logic). That makes
me kind of reluctant to say - what I think is the truth - that experimental
cinema screenings are really rare in Sweden. And when it comes to
experimental cinema as part of the normal film studies courses in the
University it too seems to be rare - of what I know Karlstad University is
the only one taking on a more serious treatment of experimental cinema (I
hope I will stand corrected here... anyway the pointing being that at many,
most, Universities the students are hardly even made aware of its

Well, back to my basic point;

If I tell my friends of experimental cinema, some of what I've said will
stick whether or not they acctually choose to pick up on my advice and see a

But mostly it will end-up with people knowing the name of a few filmmaker's
rather than acctually seeing their works, and if they do, they most likely
the comments will be in terms of, lets say for i.e. the handpainted-films by
Brakhage, that they are a color-dabble of "nothingness" - something that
anyone could do, simply scribbeling.

(This is the most common result of those acctually taking time to see a work
like those of Brakhage. I found though, naturally, that there are much
better ways to introducing people to experimental cinema - I would say that
rather many people would appreciate Fischinger on some level, perhaps
because of his influence on the sound-image relation in the

Most people will approach experimental cinema in the same terms as they
approach a mainstream flick on the tube.

This is part of the basic problem, which is my fundamental disagreement with
your statement;

For most (and I would propose this to be and overwhelming majority)
experimental cinema doesn't exist (most are unaware of the term or the ideas
connected to it).

Even more treat cinema, and film, as equall to narrative cinema (and a
majority probable sees it as hollywoodian).

So even if there's a bigger openess to a different types of cinema, I'd
still claim that the common-approach is unaltered. People are still very
much part of a narrative tradition, and a narrative-thinking when
approaching _any_ work of cinema.

Björn Lundgren

If anyone has anymore tips of avant-garde screenings anywhere in Sweden or
near-by countries, I'd very much appreciate that.

Pip Chodorov wrote:

> There are more and more filmmakers in 2006; it is not hard to make
> work, no harder than it was in 1996 or in 1986; there are more and
> more venues and ways to get work seen than ever before.
> In Paris in 1986, there was one group holding weekly screenings,
> Tuesdays at midnight. Now there are screenings almost every day of
> the week organized by many different groups and institutions. Half of
> the groups currently active were created within the last ten years
> and are run by people under 35. All the groups make and show work on
> film.
> On a global level, acceptance of experimental film has risen
> tremendously over the past ten years. When I started Re:Voir in 1994
> it was difficult to convince even specialized bookstores to sell our
> tapes. Within five years they were in Virgin Megastore. In the past
> five years a dozen new publishers have sprung up, all making a living
> distributing experimental films to the home video market. Major
> festivals show avant-garde films now, not only Rotterdam but Venice,
> Cannes, Tribeca, London, Berlin, Montreal, New York, much more now
> than 10 or 20 years ago. Through cable, satelite, internet and other
> new technologies, the past ten years have seen an explosion of new> and specialized television stations around the world, many of which
> show experimental film. Ipod, UMD, Blu-Ray and other cutting edge
> developments will only broaden access, interest and educational uses.
> Stan Vanderbeek could only dream in his day of such global accecss
> and interconnectedness.
> Universities, whose course descriptions have become more and more
> abstract and less and less practical over the years, have offered an
> ever-growing number of experimental film courses. It has become part
> of cultural literacy to know about avant-garde art. Museum shows have
> included early film work, and the past few years have seen major
> shows featuring experimental films: Sound and Light, Dada, Le
> mouvement des images, Into the Light, the Whitney Biennial, etc. How
> many tens of thousands of people were introduced to experimental film
> through these exhibitions?
> The only reason filmmakers are forgotten is because there is no
> commercial value in their work, neither in the film industry nor in
> the art market, but this is already starting to change.
> None of this, of course, has anything to do with gender.
> -Pip Chodorov
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.