The Avant-Garde Film
129 | CCN: 31708
“Beauty will be convulsive or will not be at all!”–Andre Breton
Avant-garde film is a cinema of subversion, filled with challenging, unruly images and ideas that are often messy, sublime and like life itself, complicated! Avant-garde film is also a cinema of counter-culture whose filmmakers are challenging the edges of social, artistic, intellectual and sexual acceptability. Not bound by the bottom line of corporate checkbooks and middle-brow gentility, avant-garde films challenge us to see, think and feel differently. This course explores what it means for filmmakers to go “underground” cinematically, and to commit a radically different way of making and viewing films that at once challenge mainstream forms of cinema and transform it.
The course looks at the rich and varied history of films made by fine artists from the 1920’s to the digital present, who use film and video as highly personal, poetic or politically interventionist forms of expression–as well as those who experiment with the perceptual and narrative elements of film form. Through screenings, reading, writing, the making of short filmic artworks and talking to visiting artists, we sample from the garden of underground, personal, poetic, queer, feminist, abstract, surrealist and expanded cinemas, as well as, sub-genres such as animated, structural-materialist, found film, love film and smash-the-state film!