Re: [Frameworks] Research into Experimental Film and Video

From: David Tetzlaff <>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2011 20:06:25 -0400

It's hard to make a beginners bibliography for this field since most of the books have a fairly narrow focus, and thus fall in the 'good, but not essential' category. The only concensus 'must read,' I know of is Visionary Film by Sitney, a book you may love, or love to hate. It's not that user friendly. But that would be where I would send someone to start.
Next on my list would be two books Chuck didn't mention in his otherwise exhaustive list. "Film at Wit's End" by Stan Brakhage (highly readable reminiscences of other filmmakers), and "Bike Boys, Drag Queens, and Superstars: Avant-Garde, Mass Culture, and Gay Identities in the 1960s Underground Cinema" by Juan Suarez (for an intellectual approach very different from Sitney). Following those, I would go to Sitney's Film Culture Reader anthology, and one of the Critical Cinema volumes.

As I recall, there were some pretty good essays on experimental film published in 'Jump Cut' back in the day. Chuck's being modest not mentioning them. Perhaps he could point us to some of his faves from that corpus? And do read Peter Wollen's essay "The Two Avant Gardes".

good luck


The documentary bios of Brakhage (by Jim Shedden), Deren, ("In the Mirror of...") and Jack Smith ("... and the destruction of Atlantis,") are also useful. I'd go with the one on Smith first for a newcomer.
FrameWorks mailing list
Received on Tue Jul 19 2011 - 17:06:35 CDT