Re: [Frameworks] Research into Experimental Film and Video

From: Fred Camper <>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2011 19:32:04 -0500

I know you asked about books, but in my view any understanding of film
must start with viewing many key films, many times, and on film if at
all possible. Perhaps you have already done this, but I know of many
students who spend more time reading about cinema than viewing it.
There's a lot to be said for seeing key films three or six or ten
times. There's a lot to be said for seeing everything you can by key
filmmakers. The too-often-used approach of developing a sophisticated
"methodology" and then applying it to films not seen very many times
strikes me as highly dubious.

I endorse all of Chucks' and David's suggestions, or at least, all of
the ones that I know. The "Critical Cinema" volumes are especially
useful because they are interviews with filmmakers. And, do not
neglect other writings by filmmakers about their own filmmaking.
Specifically: "Brakhage Scrapbook," with its very good selections, and
all of "Metaphors on Vision" if you can get it; Kubelka's talks in the
Avant-Garde Film Reader of Theory and Criticism (which Chuck mentions)
and his interview in Film Culture (there's also one in one of the
Critical Cinema volumes that's quite good); all of Robert Breer's
"Film Culture" interviews, the great Film Culture interview with Ernie
Gehr, Maya Deren's essays (and her statements in the "Poetry in Film"
symposium published in "Film Culture").

Each great filmmakers defines and uses cinema in a different way, so I
don't think there's any one approach that works for all.

Fred Camper

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Received on Tue Jul 19 2011 - 17:32:22 CDT