Re: Global Experimental Cinema: Two empirical refutations from downsouth

From: albert alcoz (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Jun 26 2006 - 06:58:39 PDT

Without a doubt, experimental film has risen in the lasts years.
  Mostly thanks to internet: here we are discussing about experimental filmmakers, festivals, dvd editions… whatever; in the net as well we can download thousands of films in the emule or Ubu web by James Broughton, Hollis Frampton, Ernie Gehr…, we can know all the books that have been released about those filmmakers, and buy it in amazon…
  Of course the net has joined all the people who is interested in the avant garde cinema, but the sad thing about the cyberspace is that all of us has almost refused to see these kind of movies in the cinema (the right way), for the simple reason that it is really difficult to see them. Why do I have to wait until Xcèntric will put a movie on his schedule or why do I have to go to a foreign festival, when I can buy a dvd or just download a film and see it at home?
  Programs about these films are expensive because of the price of the copies in celluloid support and the prices of the packages, so maybe the way we understand experimental “cinema” has changed.
  I have read the mail of Pablo Marin and I have tought, well I have seen some movies of Claudio Caldini, of Daniela Cugliandolo, of Ernesto Vacas (“Samoa”)… so something has changed, even though the channels to see them are still very exclusive.
  Do you guys believe to create a cooperative about experimental cinema in Spain will be usefull, as we have seen in Sixpack about the austrian cinema?
  Albert Alcoz

Pablo Marin <email suppressed> escribió: "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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