Re: [Frameworks] Experimental Documentary

From: Fred Camper (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jul 18 2010 - 21:20:18 PDT

"The films you have just seen are not "experimental." I made some
experiments in the process of working on them, and I left those
experiments back in the editing room. What you have seen are finished

I don't know if I ever heard a filmmaker say that exactly, but I think
it was the sentiments of many filmmakers starting in the 1960s.

As I argued in an article in the 20th anniversary issue of "Millennium
Film Journal," published in 1987, the phrase "experimental film" no
longer connotes, in its most common usage, a film that is new,
different, pushes the boundaries, etc. "Experimental film" is now,
instead, a genre. Scratching on film, painting on film, lack of an
obvious linear narrative, and a number of other features (though not
necessarily all of them) make a film "experimental."

This in itself is neither a good nor bad thing, in my view, as long as
the filmmaker who is scratching on film understands she or he is
working in a tradition, and is aware of the past, and believes she is
adding something.

Fred Camper

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