Global Experimental Cinema: Two empirical refutations from downsouth

From: Pablo Marin (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jun 25 2006 - 21:23:45 PDT

"On a global level, acceptance of experimental film
has risen tremendously over the past ten years." Pip

certainly not. here in argentina the situation is
static as always. or maybe worst, it could be said
that what has risen tremendously over the past years
is the acceptance of what the people that never
understood and never saw/read about experimental film
think experimental film is. as the local masters
experimentalists (Caldini, Hirsch, Vallereggio, Honik)
remain unknown, unreachable, unseen by almost the
entire student/public/critic audience, the more of
those works titled as (involuntary) "experimental
film" only because "it doesn´t make sense" and look
not like the others (mainly by lack of skill or any
ideas at all by his or her creator, that is) gets
around in festivals and showcases. so, experimental
film becomes, at the eyes of most of the people, not a
conscious, calculated, even thought piece of work but
a curiosity, a "strange, cool shit", an infrequent
amusement, a mishap.

"It has become part of cultural literacy to know about
avant-garde art." Pip Chodorov

an interesting yet depressing regional case of study:
this monday starts here at one of the most "important"
showcases devoted to "film as art" a retrospective of,
and i quote, "New York avant-garde from the sixties".
the three filmmakers they decided that would match
this very extense criteria were Warhol, Burroughs and
Brakhage (!). that´s really outstanding, one has to
admit it. Warhol (he is ok), Burroughs (who made those
films not only not alone but mostly in LONDON) and
Brakhage (whose Desistfilm, Dog Star Man, The Act of
Seeing With One´s Own Eyes -the films that conform his
repertory- were made almost totally outside NYC, in
Colorado, Pittsburgh, etc.) this is a perfect example
of how things are done here regarding experimental
film: with no cultural nor literacy. and in bootleg
DVD´s (Marilyn Brakhage, if you´re reading, i thought
you should know this.) critics and regular programmers
just don´t know how to deal with this kind of films.
if they have to review a new film that pushes the
limit the inmediately relate it with the few names
they recall or found on IMDB´s "Movie Connections".
not to mention that the history of public projection
of Exp/A-V films has been and everlasting program
about the SIXTIES or the TWENTIES -- nothing beyond

so, for me the situation is almost exactly the
contrary of Mr. Chodorov´s. i admit the "unussualness"
of the argentinian possition, but still, i´m sure that
-except the 4 or 5 countries that rule FrameWorks
debates- this is more likely the GLOBAL state of
things regarding experimental film.
one only has to read the early accurate sweden post by
Björn Lundgren to notice how it is outside that bunch
of countries: "For most (and I would propose this to
be and overwhelming majority) experimental cinema
doesn't exist".

i really wish this was already begining to change.

pablo marín
buenos aires.

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