Experimental Film

Here are the films that we saw in class today as well as some other material with the film artist speaking about the process. Remember the key points that we went through when approaching this form of image making:

  1. Use the camera as your eye.
  2. Always carry your camera.
  3. Do not look ahead – instead look sideways, down or up.
  4. Try to focus on close ups – dirt, bodies, objects or whatever you find interesting.
  5. Fragment the world to make sense of it.
  6. Stop time, look and then capture.

Le Grice was interested in Italian Futurism of the early 20th Century when wrote about it having “a clear trace of the artists’ fascination with the dynamic problems of speed, change and fragmentation themselves” Le Grice applied this picture logic to ‘Berlin Horse’.

In that six-and-a-half minute masterpiece of cinematic serialism, someone’s four-legged friend runs round and round a small corral in a village near Hamburg called Berlin (not the city) until time slips a gear and the world bursts into flame. Horse becomes horses, white horse, black horses, shadows and negatives, looping and layered. A zoetrope, a merry-go-round, then the colours kick in: Muybridge on mushrooms. Le Grice fans the flames. Brian Eno made the soundtrack: the plinky, refracted cascade of a waltz cadence, spinning in upon itself forever, “repetition is form of change.” Chuck Stephens.


The film below is ‘Mothlight’by Stan Brakhage it is similar in its approach to the very experimental Blacklight films we viewed today.


In this interview about his approach Brakhage quotes from his own book about the ‘eye’.

Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective, an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything but must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception.

How many colours are there in a field of grass to a crawling baby unaware of “Green”? Imagine a world alive with incomprehensible objects and shimmering with an endless variety of movement and innumerable gradations of colour. Imagine a world before “in the beginning was the word”


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