FAMU

A History of American Experimental Film

Fall 2006

 

Instructor: Henry Hills

Contact: henry@henryhills.com

Class times: Thursdays, 19:00-21:15 FAMU Auditorium, 1st floor

         (+ special screenings at Ponrepo and Skolska 28)

 

Course description

Taking the dominance of narrative in film and the consequent hegemony of Hollywood as an historical anomaly owing to the economics of film production (an issue from the pre-digital past, now that filmmaking, like record collecting, has become essentially free), we will explore fringe work as an alternative reality which contains seeds of a positive future vision for moving-imagery, i.e., avant-garde film will be viewed as a model of consciousness seeking expansion. Ideally this will be a study of works in which form and content are perfectly merged, the focus being on film as a thing itself, not films ŇaboutÓ something. We will view as many films as possible, films that bounce off each other in different ways, and certain key works may be viewed more than once. Availability on DVD is redefining film history, and such access plays a major role in the structure of this course

 

Evaluation    

Students will keep a journal of experimental films they see, both in class and outside. This should include sufficient information to convince me that you have seen the films, plus commentary indicating that some of what you have seen has given you some thoughts. These are due (by e-mail) for initial approval  at mid-term, and for final evaluation within a week after the last class.  Attendance at screenings is mandatory; make-ups are possible by arrangement.

 

Recommended texts:

ESSENTIAL BRAKHAGE

ESSENTIAL DEREN

AVANT GARDE READER (Anthology Film Archives)

FILM DIARIES Jonas Mekas

VISIONARY FILM P.Adams Sitney

A CRITICAL CINEMA (Scott McDonald interviews 1-4)

 

Web resources

Edweard Muybridge: http://americanhistory.si.edu/muybridge/

Jules Etienne Marey: http://www.expo-marey.com/

Library of Congress Paperprint Collection: http://www.loc.gov/rr/mopic/ndlmps.html

Stan Brakhage: http://www.fredcamper.com/Film/BrakhageL.html

Kenneth Anger: http://www.phinnweb.org/links/cinema/underground/anger/

Jack Smith: http://jacksmithandthedestructionofatlantis.com/

Andy Warhol: http://www.warholstars.org/filmch/filmchro.html

 

Downloads (Mauricio Kagel, William Burroughs, Fluxus, George Landow, Alfred Leslie, Cinema of Transgression, Guy Debord, Yoko Ono, Kurt Kren, Carolee Schneemann, Jack Smith, Viennese Actionism, Henry Hills, etc.): http://www.ubu.com/

 

Classes:

 

 

      1. Sept 28        F.W.L.Dickson selected films for Edison 1888-1896

            ŇMONKEYSHINESÓ

            DICKSON GREETING

            NEWARK ATHLETE

            MEN BOXING

            RECORD OF A SNEEZE,  etc

            ANNABELLE DANCES

            EXPERIMENTAL SOUND FILM

                        Andy Warhol  BLOW JOB

 

 

            2. Oct 5           Edwin S. Porter WHAT HAPPENED ON 23RD STREET    

            PAN AMERICAN EXPOSITION AT NIGHT

            DREAM OF A RAREBIT FIEND

                        Billy Bitzer      PANORAMA BROOKLYN BRIDGE

            WESTINGHOUSE WORKS

                                    INTERIOR NEW YORK SUBWAY

                                    IMPOSSIBLE CONVICTS

                        Fredrick Armitage  DEMOLISHING THE STAR THEATRE

                                    SEEING NEW YORK BY YACHT

            DOWN THE HUDSON

                        Ken Jacobs      TOM TOM TEASER

            NEW YORK STREET TROLLEYS (Nervous System demo)

 

            3.  Oct 12        Man Ray LE RETOUR A LA RAISON (1923)

                                    EMAK BAKIA (1926)

                        (Fernand LŽger &) Dudley Murphy BALLET MƒCANIQUE (1924)

                                    J.S. Watson, Jr. & Melville Webber  THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (1927)

                        Robert Florey & Slavko Vorkapich THE LIFE AND DEATH OF 9413: A HOLLYWOOD EXTRA (1927)

                        Slavko Vorkapitch  THE FURIES + other montage sequences

                                    Ralph Steiner   H2O (1929)

                                     

 

            4 Oct 19   Martha Graham & Rouben Mamoulian  FLUTE OF KRISHNA (1926) 7 min, sound w commentary

                        Mary Ellen Bute   DADA (1936), 2 min, sound

                                                ESCAPE (Synchromy # )(1938), 4 min, sound

                                    Joseph Cornell              ROSE HOBART (1938) 19 min, sound

                                                THE MIDNIGHT PARTY (1938), 4 min, (silent)

                               Rudy Burckhardt  HAITI (1938), 16 min, sound

                                           PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (1940), 8 min (silent)

                               Busby Berkeley LULLABY OF BROADWAY (1935), 13 min, sound

                               Stan Brakhage  DELICACIES OF MOLTEN HORROR SYNAPSE (1991) 8 min, silent

 

 

 

            5.  Oct 26        Maya Deren    MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON

                                    Martina Kudlacek  IN THE MIRROR OF MAYA DEREN

      

            6.  Nov 2         Guy Sherwin in person

 

            7.  Nov 9         Marie Menken  

            GLIMPSE OF THE GARDEN

            ARABESQUE FOR KENNETH ANGER

            EYE MUSIC IN RED MAJOR

                                                GO! GO! GO!

                                                LIGHTS

                                                WRESTLERS

                                    Robert Breer

                                                FORM PHASES IV (5)

                                                RECREATION  (2)

                                                A MAN AND HIS DOG OUT FOR AIR (7)

                                                JAMESTOWN BALOOS  (5)

                                                BLAZES  (3)

                                                69  (5)

                                    Christopher MacLaine            

                                                THE END  (34)

 

 

            8.  Nov 16       Stan Brakhage

                                                CATŐS CRADLE      

                                                COMMINGLED CONTAINERS

                                                THOT FALLŐN

                                    WINDOW WATER BABY MOVING

                                    PRELUDE: DOG STAR MAN

                                    MOTHLIGHT

                                    ACT OF SEEING WITH ONES OWN EYES

                                    THE DANTE QUARTET

                                   

           

            9. Nov 23        William Burroughs TOWERS OPEN FIRE

                                    Andy Warhol NUDE RESTAURANT

 

            10. Nov 30      Bruce Conner   REPORT

                                    Scott Bartlett  OFF/ON

                                    Craig Baldwin  TRIBULATION 99

 

            11. Dec 7         *** all 16mm class held at Ponrepo (begins 20:00) ***

                                    Stan Brakhage / Joseph Cornell WONDER RING
                                    Joseph Cornell / Stan Brakhage  GNIR REDNOW
(1955) 5Ő

                                    Len Lye  RHYTHM
                                                FREE RADICALS

                                    Kenneth Anger  SCORPIO RISING

                                    Ron Rice  CHUMLUM
                                    Robert Breer  FIST FIGHT

                                    Ken Jacobs  PERFECT FILM

                                    Gregory Markopoulos  MING GREEN (7 min)

                                                BLISS
                                                SORROWS (6 min)
   

 

            12.  Dec 14      Leslie Thornton PEGGY AND FRED IN HELL

                                    Abby Child  MERCY

                                    Fred Worden  HERE

                                    Vincent Grenier  COLOR SUDY

                                    Joe Gibbons MULTIPLE BARBIE

                                    Keith Sanborn ZAPRUDER FILM: CONSENSUAL HALLUCINATION

                                    Lewis Klahr 2 MINUTES TO ZERO, 2 HOURS TO ZERO

                                    Henry Hills     PORTER SPRINGS 4

                                                            NAKED CITY SERIES

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Screenings:

 

Friday,  November 3,  19:30 Skolska 28 Gallery

                   Guy Sherwin   Works for Multiple Projectors

 

    Tuesday November 14, 20:00 Ponrepo (98 min)

                        Gregory Markopoulos  DU SANG DE LA VOLUPTƒ ET DE LA MORT  (PSYCHE, LYSIS, CHARMIDES)
                       
Kenneth Anger  INAUGURATION OF THE PLEASURE DOME

 

     Tuesday November 21, 20:00 Ponrepo (88 min)

                        Michael Snow  SEE YOU LATER / AU REVOIR

                        Stan Brakhage  A CHILDŐS GARDEN AND THE SERIOUS SEA

 

     Tuesday, November 28, 20:00 Ponrepo (70 min)

                        Paul Sharits  N:O:T:H:I:N:G

                                    EPILEPTIC SEIZURE COMPARISON