Re: Written texts in experimental film

From: Chuck Kleinhans (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Jan 18 2010 - 04:30:17 PST

Back in January 2005 I asked for a similar suggestions for films/
videos with words on a screen in Frameworks. The archive should have
that thread.

 From the many selections, I put together a course called Word,
Screen, Motion that included screenings and also students making
short projects. Here’s what I showed:

Takahiko Iimura, White Calligraphy (1967, 16mm, b&w/si, 15 min)
Bruce Baillie, Castro Street (16mm film)
Su Friedrich, Gently Down the Stream (16mm film, 1981, b&w/si, 14
min) [Canyon]
Simon Tarr, Crescent Time,(16mm, 2000, color/sou, 4 min.) [Canyon]
Peter Rose, Secondary Currents 1982, 16mm, b&w/so, 18m [Canyon]

Rick Hancox, Waterworx (A Clear Day and No Memories) 1982, 16mm,
color/so, 6 min [Canyon]
Hancox, Landfall (1983, 16mm, color/so, 11 min.) [Canyon]
Hancox, Beach Events (1984, 16mm, color/so, 8.5 min) [Canyon]
Michael Snow, So Is This, 1982, 16mm, b&w/si, 45m, [Canyon]

Hollis Frampton, Poetic Justice ( 1972 16mm b&w/si, 31 min). [NYFMC]
David Gatten, Hardwood Process (1966, 16mm, color/si, 14 min.) [Canyon]
Helen Mirrra, Shlafbau, (video, 14.30 min 1995) [VDB]

Janis Crystal Lipson, Visible Inventory Six: Motel Dissolve (1978,
16mm, color/so, 15 min) [Canyon]
Mona Hatoum, Measures of Distance, (video, 1988, 15 min color) [Women
Make Movies]
Su Friedrich, Sink or Swim (1990, 16mm, b&w/so, 48 min)

Hollis Frampton, Zorns Lemma (1970 16mm co/so, 60 min) NYFMC
Jonn Lindell, Put Your Lips around Yes (Video, b&w, cound, 1991, 5
min. (VDB)
Antonio Muntadas, Slogans (video, 9 min, 1991) (VDB)
Tony Cokes, Ad Vice (video, 1999, 6.36 min) [VDB]
Rebecca Bollinger, Alphabetically Sorted (video, 5.18, 1994) [VDB]
Les LeVeque, A song From the Cultural Revolution (video, 5 min, 1998)

Paul Glabicki, Under the Sea (16mm, color/sound, 22 m 1989) [Canyon]

Joyce Weiland, Pierre Vallieres (1972,16mm, 30 min, so, co) [CFMDC]
Morgan Fisher, Standard Gauge (16mm, 1984, 35 min) [NYFC]

Peter Greenaway, Prospero’s Books

I began the course with samples from mainstream and commercial screen
arts. Almost all TV commercials, for example, use words on a
screen. There are lots of websites which use type in motion and some
good ones which are aimed at professionals who work in motion graphics.

Screening and discussion: motion graphics sites
Thinking about fonts, 1
The TV screen sampler
Bloomberg Information TV
CNN Headline News
Court TV
The Weather Channel

Intro to concrete poetry (handout)

Titles sampler
Dr Strangelove

Discussion of fonts (readings on Helvetica, Template Gothic) And
there’s now that film about Helvetica.

There was only one required book: the book (actually more of a
booklet) is Edward R. Tufte, The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint which
is $7.00 new on Amazon. The book offers a critique of the limited
thinking that PowerPoint presentations produce. This might seem a
little spendy but it is excellently produced in color and well worth
the cover price. Tufte is a brilliant thinker and innovator in the
field of information graphics and design presentation, so you might
look at his other books too.

And I referred students to a number of different books on re3serve at
the library:

1. Screen writings : scripts and texts by independent filmmakers /
[edited] by Scott MacDonald.
  This book has the script of Frampton’s Poetic Justice, as well as
his challenging Zorns Lemma which we’ll see later in the course. And
Su Freidrich’s work.

2. Thinking with type : a critical guide for designers, writers &
editors / Ellen Lupton.
This book is excellent for an into and overview

3. Design, writing, research : writing on graphic design / Ellen
Lupton, J. Abbott Miller.
A collection of outstanding writings on design

4. Tufte’s crucial work

Envisioning information / Edward R. Tufte.
Cheshire, Conn. : Graphics Press,

5. More Tufte
The visual display of quantitative information / Edward R. Tufte.
Cheshire, Conn. : Graphics Press,

6. Thoughtful essays on type
Texts on type : critical writings on typography / edited by Steven
Heller and Philip B. Meggs.


And some always pertinent films:
Jem Cohen, Lost Book Found
Godard, 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (and many of his other works)

A great essay for which I’ve lost the publication reference:
Scott MacDonald, Poetry and Film: Cinema As Publication

Chuck Kleinhans

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