Article

Avant-Garde and Experimental Film

Robin Blaetz

in Cinema and Media Studies

ISBN: 9780199791286
Published online May 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199791286-0082
Avant-Garde and Experimental Film

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Experimental and avant-garde film is cinema made outside of the film industry on an artisanal basis, largely without regard to the structures and demands of traditional narrative film. While experimental film as a separate mode of film practice is international, its most prevalent manifestations were in western Europe before World War II and North America and Britain in the postwar period. Avant-garde film is often produced in the context of the larger art world, particularly in relation to the visual arts and literature. It is also frequently produced as a critique of dominant, classical Hollywood cinema and functions in relation to political movements and strategies, such as feminism. Although experimental films present myriad structures, lengths, and concerns, filmmakers have traditionally favored 8 mm and 16 mm formats. Currently, filmmakers are using video and new media of all kinds as well as including film in larger multimedia installations. Scholarship and writing about experimental film run the gamut from deeply personal and casual in tone to highly dense and theoretical. Unless otherwise noted, the material in this bibliography is suitable for undergraduate and graduate students who have some knowledge of film history. Given the paucity of material written about experimental film as well as the countercultural nature of the films and the filmmaking practices, some original texts are included that have been supplanted with revised versions of film history because they are inaccurate or unsubstantiated; yet, they remain useful for the obscure material and historical perspectives they provide.

Article.  10530 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies ; Film ; Radio ; Television

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