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¶ PdA’s Anti-Canon, 2020 Edition + experimental films list

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Perception de Ambiguity
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¶ PdA’s Anti-Canon, 2020 Edition + experimental films list

#1

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » August 24th, 2020, 1:52 pm

It's that time of year again when the beauty of tradition demands that I work through my ever-growing history of viewings and to discard all the films that everyone and their great-grantaunt's dog has seen.

We are in the 8th year now with this and to cram all my rare favourites into a Top 300 list again has finally become too absurd a notion for me, so the time has come to either discontinue the project, or to change it. Since I don't have much else going on in my life the first one wasn't a real option, so after some contemplation I decided that what makes most sense would be to exclude experimental films and to give them their own list.

Over the years my focus increasingly has been on more experimental cinema, which by its very nature is largely outside of any mainstream attention, so almost any experimental film favorite qualified for the list, plus given the high percentage of experimental films being on the shorter side in terms of runtime they accumulate quite easily. They were drowning out the EZ art goodies. Natural selection on one hand, on the other hand having the list dominated by experimental cinema arguably goes against the very concept of the anti-canon list as it was initially intended. Secretly I was probably more eager to make my first proper experimental films list and the anti-canon list this year offered a good excuse for me to make one.

So now it's double the fun!

Which is to say:
PdA’s Anti-Canon - narrative cinema, 2020 Edition
& PdA’s Canon – experimental cinema, 2020 Edition

I'll start with the companion list. Unlike with the Anti-Canon no restrictions were imposed, (theoretically) all my favs made it in, irrespective of popularity, so I'm sure you'll be familiar with a great many of them (and your great-grantaunt's dog too, maybe, especially if he is a short films hound for some easy Checks).

It's relatively purely experimental, so no avant-garde (which ruined my original plan to call it PdA's Avant-Canon), so no Cocteau or Matthew Barney, and no "Marienbad", "Eraserhead" or even "Seashell and the Clergyman" *teary eye* and so on. I was on the fence about documentaries in a lot of cases, and essay type of films in particular, which constitute a decent portion of my favorites. I split them between the two lists but I guess the bigger part ended up on the experimental list as they tend to be very freewheeling even if in terms of creative technique they aren't really that out there. I was aiming for a Top 300 to mirror the Anti-Canon list, but tough luck, it ended up a Top 500 which was difficult enough. As an aside, a good thing that came out of it was that it made me add a bunch of titles to letterboxd (I won't bother with IMDb anymore) that weren't listed yet, which I'm normally too lazy for. There is no overlap in titles between the two lists (if everything went well). Without further ado:

:letbxd: PdA’s Canon – experimental cinema, 2020 Edition
Image


Now as for the list you came here to see (or maybe not), the Anti-Canon list I'll reveal in this thread in a few days. :P
Last edited by Perception de Ambiguity on August 24th, 2020, 2:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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#2

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » August 24th, 2020, 1:53 pm

So here is my new edition of PdA’s Anti-Canon, a ranked Top 300 list of my favorite films that are relatively little seen, now less extreme than ever.

Year of cut-off: 2017

:letbxd: PdA’s Anti-Canon - narrative cinema, 2020 Edition
Image

:imdb: PdA’s Anti-Canon - narrative cinema, 2020 Edition
Image

:ICM: PdA’s Anti-Canon - narrative cinema, 2020 Edition (thank you weirdboy)
Image


The previous editions, if you are interested in comparing or what-have-you, can be found here:

So, how many of the films have you seen, why have you seen them, what did you rate them, why did you rate them, what films that you haven't seen are you interested in seeing, what films have you tried to find but weren't able to (I'll be happy to help if I can), what’s invisible but you wish people could see, how much does the wind weigh, and other positive comments and obtrusive questions are welcome.
Last edited by Perception de Ambiguity on September 8th, 2020, 4:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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#3

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » August 28th, 2020, 5:40 pm

I've done posted it (see above).

Does anyone want/need an IMDb list of the Anti-Canon? I guess I could make one, all the titles probably have an IMDb page.
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#4

Post by hurluberlu » August 28th, 2020, 7:54 pm

Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
August 28th, 2020, 5:40 pm

Does anyone want/need an IMDb list of the Anti-Canon? I guess I could make one, all the titles probably have an IMDb page.
Would be great and for the experimental list too :whistling: ! So much easier to dive in the lists and compare...

I like that you seperated both as I think we have more in common in the narrative field. I see more familiar faces in the Anti-Canon now and am more inclined to test the others. Great to see the Clementis high on the experimental list though (almost make up for the Mettler, almost :turned: ).
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#5

Post by St. Gloede » August 28th, 2020, 8:22 pm

Great and interesting lists as usual, Perception, will definitely give both of them much closer looks. Also interesting to see how close the space is between what is experimental and what is not, and I'm not even sure which list seem more exciting.

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#6

Post by viktor-vaudevillain » August 30th, 2020, 11:58 am

It's always interesting and rousing to look at your lists - always lots of inspiration. They've been a constant source for me to find (great) oddities over the years.

I've seen 103 from the experimental list, and only 32 ( :shrug: ) from the narrative list...

Though i'd like to see most of the stuff off both lists which I haven't seen, but you probably already know that.
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#7

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » August 30th, 2020, 6:35 pm

OK, I've made an :imdb: list now of the Anti-Canon (narrative cinema). Happy diving, hurluberlu, try not to drown.

Thanks for the comments, hurluberlu, Gloede and Viktor.

I guess I know, Viktor, it's still great to read.
Last edited by Perception de Ambiguity on August 30th, 2020, 7:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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#8

Post by hurluberlu » August 30th, 2020, 7:12 pm

Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
August 30th, 2020, 6:35 pm
OK, I've made an :imdb: list now of the Anti-Canon (narrative cinema). Happy diving, hurluberlu, try not to drown.
Thanks, appreciated. I have seen 37: I share the love for Guy Gilles, Chen Kaige, Mani Kaul and French 20s-30s.
For the rest, I am not taking the diving lightly.
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#9

Post by prodigalgodson » August 31st, 2020, 5:19 am

Ayyy nice! Haven't been through one of these in too long, glad for the longer experimental list. Narrative first:

Seen:
This World, then the Fireworks 5 - love Thompson, and this seems like a rare adaptation that's true to his spirit, but I wasn't vibing with that grungy 90s low-budget style
Day Shall Dawn 8 - your rec, loved the style
Angels Over Broadway 3 - thought this was pretty wack
Cremaster 2 8 - one of the best in the Cycle
Othello 8 - incredibly inventive termite art by a literal white elephant; but isn't this too canon to fit in the anti-canon?
Deadfall 7 - I love that you and Matt have so many obscure favorites in common, I enjoyed this a lot
Picture of Light 10 - nice
Le bonheur 8 - apparently I saw this on film, but I don't remember much; liked it a lot but prefer Matt's favorite La nuit fantastique, which I also randomly got to see on film
White Morning 6 - only heard this called Ako before; I liked it but not nearly as much as Teshigahara's other Abe collabs

Interested in:
Narita - all these Ogawa docs seem very up my alley, any clues where to watch?
The Parallel Street - I know it's a favorite of Matthew's too, and I love that DVD cover
The Tibetan Book of the Dead - this is on Prime, I'll try to get around to it soon
Vampire Journals - discussed recently
Life on a String - love Yellow Earth, wasn't feeling Farewell my Concubine, but I want to see more from Chen
The End of Time - oh yeah I forgot I still have this one to see!
Earth Light - want to see this, seems to have a small but rapid fanbase
Revolution - love seeing old portraits of SF
Eldorado - enjoyed what I've seen from L'Herbier and eager to watch more
Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000 - haven't seen anything from Tanner, but always been curious about this one from the title
The Green Wall - sounds potentially very interesting
Temptress Moon - this sounds really up my alley actually
On the Bowery - old looks at NY are cool too
The Savage Eye - ooh, vintage LA location footage
Profit and Nothing But - I'm kind of fascinated by Haiti - if not this, I should see something by Peck
Le Horla - need to see more Pollet, know where this is available?
Elsewhere - love me an epic documentary, and I loved Homo Sapiens so much I want to see more from Geyrhalter - know where I could see it?
River of Fundament - sounds cool but that is looong
The Architecture of Doom - because Naziism never gets old
Nora Helmer - huh, don't think I've heard of this; hope to get around to every Fassbinder at some point
The Assassination of Ryoma - Shogunate history is endlessly entertaining
Mania - sounds fun
N. a pris les des... - still haven't seen any Robbe-Grillet, but should probably see Eden and After first at least
The Globalisation Tapes - sounds cool
The Long Darkness - love a good Japanese romance
Die letzten Tage von Gomorrha - like the screenshot and the mystery (no plot summary, no reviews)
Chickenhawk - sounds intriguingly disturbing
Frost - sounds dope
Kamouraska - the story doesn't sound up my alley but the style does
Dainah la metisse - been meaning to see more Gremillon, and this checks a few of my boxes
Snakes and Ladders - always love a new Ruiz rec, ooh and it's on Prime
Le plein pays - sounds nutty, I like it
Let's Make a Dream - great cast, I have yet to see anything from Guitry too
One Day Before the Rainy Season - never heard of this Kaul guy/gal, but of the ones listed this sounds most appealing to me
Days of Nietzsche in Turin - sounds like exactly the kind of thing I could see myself making
Fragment of an Empire - love a good obscure Soviet silent
The Pearls of the Crown - sounds fun
How Yukong Moves Mountains - want to see more from Ivens in general, think I've just seen 1 or 2 early career shorts
Notre nazi - cuz like I said, Naziism is an endless source of fascination
The Net - I'm not particularly interested in the Unibomber, but this sounds interesting
Berenice - where to see?; reminds me I should track down Sign of Leo too
A Cuban Fight Against Demons - because I love Memories of Underdevelopment and should see more from Alea
Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? - always liked the title
First Contact - dig this kind of thing
Adi Shankaracharya - if only for its language novelty
Utopia - never seen any Saless, this seems like an interesting starting point
Social Life of Small Urban Spaces - definitely an area of interest for me
Ghashiram Kotwal - like the film co-op idea
Sarraounia - want to see more African films, and Hondo seems cool
The Streetwalker - Borowczyk and Joey D.? sounds craptastic
Dadetown - sounds timely and in my area of interest

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#10

Post by Traveller » August 31st, 2020, 3:53 pm

Thank you for the IMDb list! :thumbsup: Seen but 25 - which is, I suppose, a good thing, since it leaves much to browse, collect and explore.
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#11

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » August 31st, 2020, 10:39 pm

prodigalgodson wrote:
August 31st, 2020, 5:19 am
Ayyy nice! Haven't been through one of these in too long, glad for the longer experimental list. Narrative first:
Othello - >...too canon...?< Yes, but no. I added the wrong Othello to the IMDb list. The correct one would be another 50's adaptation, but a Soviet one. I love the Welles film too, of course. In terms of his Shakespeare films my heart really beats for 'Macbeth', though. There's that goth sensibility showing again.

'La nuit fantastique' was on the table too as a possible inclusion. I've seen a bunch of matthew faves over the years, of course, and some stuck. We all steal from each other, as it is meant to be done.

Narita - If you are talking legally I'm not the right guy for that. But what I know of its online history is that for the longest time they were only available through VHS rips with often hard-to-impossible-to-read subtitles obtained from Jonathan Rosenbaum. More recently Japanese DVDs surfaced and efforts were made online to transcribe the English subtitles from the VHS rip to be watched with those new transfers. Four of the overall seven films of the Sanrizuka series are still without subtitles, and that struggle really fascinates me, I need to see the other films. And as far as I know there are at this time no releases of any of the films in the West, let alone with subtitles. But some Ogawa Pro films are/were making the rounds theatrically in Europe/US, Viktor caught two of them last year, so maybe if you keep your eyes peeled.

The Parallel Street - You'll definitely find it interesting at the very least. A combination of elements probably never seen in cinema before or since, it seemingly has everything and is everything. It has philosophy, religion, history, anthropology, mythology, mathematics and any study and science you can name. It's a documentary, anthology, mystery thriller, educational film, experimental film and satire. A film like an analytical armchair travelogue, bureaucratic and enlightening, that opens up a new world and doesn't even scratch the surface. Its irreconcilable fragments are a sincere mockery of the quest for knowledge in what is the detective story of our lives.
I'm tempted to call it the perfect film, but therein lies the problem, how close to the outer limits can a work of art slither without the strain leaving a crack, without the perfection turning against itself and manifesting as a flaw, as is the case with its short running time that will leave you stunned that such a rich experience has unfolded in such a short time, and the unquenchable craving for more, an experience designed to forever feel incomplete in its completeness, like a human life lived to completion, with everything still left undone. Great, now I want to watch it again...

The End of Time - Don't forget about 'Scissere' for quite a different but no less special Mettler experience, which somewhat defies categorization from what I remember, other than "experimental". I wasn't much into his only real dramatic film 'The Top of His Head', unfortunately. But maybe you'd like that one too.

Earth Light - I know you have music in you, so if you don't love it I'll eat my chair. When I think "film poet" I think Guy Gilles. He makes the hypothetical second-most poetic filmmaker look like a butcher in comparison.

On the Bowery - Old looks at NY but also a fascinating look into my future. Maybe into NY's as well, post-COVID.

The Savage Eye - And what footage!

River of Fundament - Shorter than the Cremaster Cycle, think of it that way. Also shorter than 'Redoubt' which I wasn't terribly into after a while, and that one was only over two hours long.

The Assassination of Ryoma - And the grungy new wave sensibility makes it endlessly cool.

Die letzten Tage von Gomorrha -
plotShow
An overflowing Sci Fi Opera as well as a nightmare about a society totally lost in consumption.
In the center of the action, a resistant woman fights against this system when her partner seems to disappear in a monstrous machine, that was chosen by the director as a metaphor for the ultimate consequences of TV as well as for the entertainment industry.
Helma Sanders-Brahms put a lot of her own experiences into the plot.
- from zweitausendeins film lexikon, original text in german
It is somewhat similar to Fassbinder's 'World on Wires', if you know that one, but playing (even) more like a nightmare. Or think of it as a virtual reality film in which the VR and the TV program are part of the same system (technologically as well as politically).

Snakes and Ladders - An ancient FG favorite and most likely my first Ruiz. Almost sure you'll dig it.

Mani Kaul - You're bound to love him.

Days of Nietzsche in Turin - Yeah, I can picture that too.

Joris Ivens - His "swan song" 'Une histoire de vent' I think would be a safe bet for you to cherish.

Das Netz - Yeah, it's certainly about so much more than just Ted Kaczynski, who is more like a way into this subject matter.

Thanks for your thorough combing through of my list. No information on what sources can provide the films you asked about, other than my own person, if to you this poses a morally and practically acceptable solution.

Thanks for your comment, Traveller.
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#12

Post by prodigalgodson » September 3rd, 2020, 9:18 pm

Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
August 31st, 2020, 10:39 pm
Othello - >...too canon...?< Yes, but no. I added the wrong Othello to the IMDb list. The correct one would be another 50's adaptation, but a Soviet one. I love the Welles film too, of course. In terms of his Shakespeare films my heart really beats for 'Macbeth', though. There's that goth sensibility showing again.

'La nuit fantastique' was on the table too as a possible inclusion. I've seen a bunch of matthew faves over the years, of course, and some stuck. We all steal from each other, as it is meant to be done.

Narita - If you are talking legally I'm not the right guy for that. But what I know of its online history is that for the longest time they were only available through VHS rips with often hard-to-impossible-to-read subtitles obtained from Jonathan Rosenbaum. More recently Japanese DVDs surfaced and efforts were made online to transcribe the English subtitles from the VHS rip to be watched with those new transfers. Four of the overall seven films of the Sanrizuka series are still without subtitles, and that struggle really fascinates me, I need to see the other films. And as far as I know there are at this time no releases of any of the films in the West, let alone with subtitles. But some Ogawa Pro films are/were making the rounds theatrically in Europe/US, Viktor caught two of them last year, so maybe if you keep your eyes peeled.

The Parallel Street - You'll definitely find it interesting at the very least. A combination of elements probably never seen in cinema before or since, it seemingly has everything and is everything. It has philosophy, religion, history, anthropology, mythology, mathematics and any study and science you can name. It's a documentary, anthology, mystery thriller, educational film, experimental film and satire. A film like an analytical armchair travelogue, bureaucratic and enlightening, that opens up a new world and doesn't even scratch the surface. Its irreconcilable fragments are a sincere mockery of the quest for knowledge in what is the detective story of our lives.
I'm tempted to call it the perfect film, but therein lies the problem, how close to the outer limits can a work of art slither without the strain leaving a crack, without the perfection turning against itself and manifesting as a flaw, as is the case with its short running time that will leave you stunned that such a rich experience has unfolded in such a short time, and the unquenchable craving for more, an experience designed to forever feel incomplete in its completeness, like a human life lived to completion, with everything still left undone. Great, now I want to watch it again...

The End of Time - Don't forget about 'Scissere' for quite a different but no less special Mettler experience, which somewhat defies categorization from what I remember, other than "experimental". I wasn't much into his only real dramatic film 'The Top of His Head', unfortunately. But maybe you'd like that one too.

Earth Light - I know you have music in you, so if you don't love it I'll eat my chair. When I think "film poet" I think Guy Gilles. He makes the hypothetical second-most poetic filmmaker look like a butcher in comparison.

On the Bowery - Old looks at NY but also a fascinating look into my future. Maybe into NY's as well, post-COVID.

The Savage Eye - And what footage!

River of Fundament - Shorter than the Cremaster Cycle, think of it that way. Also shorter than 'Redoubt' which I wasn't terribly into after a while, and that one was only over two hours long.

The Assassination of Ryoma - And the grungy new wave sensibility makes it endlessly cool.

Die letzten Tage von Gomorrha -
plotShow
An overflowing Sci Fi Opera as well as a nightmare about a society totally lost in consumption.
In the center of the action, a resistant woman fights against this system when her partner seems to disappear in a monstrous machine, that was chosen by the director as a metaphor for the ultimate consequences of TV as well as for the entertainment industry.
Helma Sanders-Brahms put a lot of her own experiences into the plot.
- from zweitausendeins film lexikon, original text in german
It is somewhat similar to Fassbinder's 'World on Wires', if you know that one, but playing (even) more like a nightmare. Or think of it as a virtual reality film in which the VR and the TV program are part of the same system (technologically as well as politically).

Snakes and Ladders - An ancient FG favorite and most likely my first Ruiz. Almost sure you'll dig it.

Mani Kaul - You're bound to love him.

Days of Nietzsche in Turin - Yeah, I can picture that too.

Joris Ivens - His "swan song" 'Une histoire de vent' I think would be a safe bet for you to cherish.

Das Netz - Yeah, it's certainly about so much more than just Ted Kaczynski, who is more like a way into this subject matter.

Thanks for your thorough combing through of my list. No information on what sources can provide the films you asked about, other than my own person, if to you this poses a morally and practically acceptable solution.

Thanks for your comment, Traveller.
Macbeth - I guess it is kind of goth haha; I gave this a higher rating than Othello but in retrospect I'd give the latter the edge, such dynamism
Ogawa - I'll keep an ear to the ground when theaters reopen, cheers
The Parallel Street - damn, sold!
Scissere/Top of His Head - thanks for the heads-up, I don't think these are listed on his website, but that narrative foray sounds especially interesting
Earth Light - great pitch haha, I'll prioritize this
Tage von Gomorrha - love World on a Wire, so sounds very up my alley
Snakes and Ladders - I remember when Dog's Dialogue had its day, but this must've been before my time
History of the Wind - been meaning to see this one for years

Not only is that an acceptable solution, it's one which would engender profound gratitude on my part!

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#13

Post by prodigalgodson » September 4th, 2020, 1:57 am

I'll go through the experimental ones 50 at a time. Almost all these sound intriguing to me in some capacity, so from what I haven't seen I'll just list the priorities, and I'd love recommendations too. The synopses of so many on Letterbox sound interesting, but especially with abstract films I've learned to expect some gap between description and personal experience.

Seen:
Path of Cessation 8 - would almost certainly be a 10 if seen on film or even on a big enough screen without a big block of text covering the lower third, as it's presented on the website set up by his estate <_<
The Clock - stayed for an hour at SF MOMA, great idea cleverly executed, but the problem with these kind of films (eg Mothlight) is once you know their concept/process, the experience of actually watching them feels like kind of a perfunctory experience
Gambling, Gods, and LSD 10 - one of my favorite movies so far this year
The Ground 10 - still only one of two Beavers I've seen, despite being a big Markopolous fan; came to my attention through Sy, and interestingly also on the Sight and Sound top 10 of my favorite PFA curator, Susan Oxtoby
Film 4 - love Keaton, but not a fan of this; based on little experience Beckett doesn't seem up my alley
L'ange 10 - another Matthew rec, I think it was my favorite film for a couple weeks in highschool

Want to see:
Reality's Invisible - want to see more from Fulton in general, my kind of underground fixture
Naked Spaces - I like Africa and after all the times I've walked past her office at Berkeley and meant to get around to it, have yet to see anything from Trinh
Hitler: A Film from Germany - in Sy's top 5 at last FG3 reckoning, plus on TSP and the kind of thing I'm bound to love
Scissere - per your recommendation, plus for Mettler completionism's sake
625 - a friend of mine did a project something like this in high school, filmed screens are always a good time
Film ist - cool, been looking for more found footage
The Fourth Dimension - ayy digital video, the only thing appropriate to watch on a computer
Illuminated Texts - like this secret knowledge kind of thing, never seen anything from Elder
The Society of the Spectacle - that cover image looks familiar, as does Debord, wasn't this a book or something?
Videograms of a Revolution - sounds like a more visceral updated Fall of the Romanov Dynasty; still haven't seen anything by Farocki
I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like - should see more from Viola, and this sounds like my kind of thing
The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase - mixed feelings on The Act of Killing, but want to see more from Oppenheimer
Quick Billy - sounds precisely up my alley, and I need to see something from Baillie
Inventing the Future - fuck yeah
Dog People - sounds fun

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#14

Post by prodigalgodson » September 4th, 2020, 9:57 pm

50-100

seen
Leviathan 6 - remember this was in serriform's top 10 at one point; I was surprised not to like it more
Return to Reason 7 - a perfect condensation of dada's vibe, though I prefer some of Ray's more ambitious stuff
Twice a Man 8 - the first Markopolous film where I really got his reputation, though I prefer some of his later stuff
Kusama's Self-Obliteration 2 - was not feeling this at all, and I saw it in a Kusama exhibition in Reina Sofia I otherwise greatly enjoyed

want to see
Moon's Pool - love me so underwater footage
The Wings of Man - Fulton and Welles gotta see; this should be easy enough to track down
Number One - this list is a good reminder of how much of the experimental pantheon I have yet to discover; never seen anything by Pierce, and this sounds interesting
The Masked Monkeys - well it's Indonesian, I gotta watch it
Our Lady of the Sphere - never seen anything from (this) Larry Jordan either
Unsere Afrikareise - been meaning to see this for years, I dig Kubelka
The Revolution Is Only a Beginning - sounds ill, I love these basement discoveries
Are You in a Bad State - fine, the letterbox description got me
Carol - aw, romantic
Safe Conditions - sounds sufficiently nutty to entertain
Back and Forth - have greatly enjoyed the couple films I've seen from Snow, looking forward to more
Take the 5:10 to Dreamland - will watch any Conner I can, and I love trains
Re:Awakenings - I watched Decasia last night, so want to see more Morrison anyhow, but a solo sax score by Philip Glass was the selling point here
Masao Adachi - alright, an Oshima/Wakamatsu screenwriter who had a forgotten directing career of his own?; I'm in
Passage à l’acte - thought I'd seen this, but I must've been thinking of the Andy Hardy one, which was just okay
The Exquisite Corpus - I haven't seen anything from Tscherkassky from the last decade, I should continue to support

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#15

Post by 3eyes » September 5th, 2020, 2:21 pm

Narrative list--

seen (17):
Alice in Wonderland (1966)
East Side, West Side (1949)
Der Fall Gleiwitz
Germany Pale Mother
Go West (1923)
The Hellstrom chronicle
Johnny Hamlet
Kontakt (1978)
The lathe of heaven
Life on a string
The Lost Moment
The pearls of the crown
Sarraounia
Steppenwolf (1974)
Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East?
Wrony (Crows)
Yesterday girl

already on watchlist

Being two isn’t easy
The green wall
Jonah who will be 25 in the year 2000
Long Live the Republic
Lucia (1968)
Der Mörder Dimitri Karamasoff (1931)
The president (2014)
Scream of the Ants
Warrendale

Lots else that looks interesting.
Any chance of updating the ICM list?
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#16

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » September 5th, 2020, 11:28 pm

prodigalgodson wrote:
September 4th, 2020, 9:57 pm
1-100
The Clock - Depends. I think you can't say this as a rule for this film or maybe any films? So I have never seen it "properly" at one of the venues that exhibited it, but it never felt like that to me during the sections I watched, always being engaged, having new thoughts, noticing new connections, etc. I felt that a lot more creativity went into it beyond just the basic concept and the workmanlike job of going through countless hours of film footage to pick out all the footage of clocks.

I presume you caught a lot of the Markopolous goodies in theaters, because much of it isn't available online…


The Society of the Spectacle - It's the film version of Debord's book who was the big daddy of Situationist International, who held a fascinating ideology that still resonates, I find, particularly in its criticism of capitalist societies. They also had some particular ideas about cinema and TV, as you would expect, given that they were major tools of the spectacle they spoke of.

'Are You in a Bad State' and , 'Safe Conditions', 'Call It Sleep' are also Situationist films. As are 'Click Here to Unsubscribe' and 'One.Two.Three.' Also 'Can Dialectics Break Bricks?', essentially, which employs détournement, and provided you have familiarized yourself with SI well enough and/or know your Marx this is pretty much the most hilarious thing ever. Yeah, I'm not picky when it comes to those, I'll latch up almost any anti-capitalist/we-are-living-in-sick-times cinematic rant. I'd recommend giving 'Society of the Spectacle' a look before any of the other ones, or reading the book, to see if it is bullshit or something that you find interesting.

Robert Fulton shorts: http://www.ref3films.com/7-films.html
'The Wings of Man' is the final short (minute 31) but obviously I highly recommend all of them.

Number One - I think it's worth plunging right in with Leighton Pierce, so to speak, with one of his longer works. This is maybe just because that's what my experience with Leighton Pierce was like, having started with '50 Feet on a String'. I thought it was likely that I wouldn't have appreciated his shorter works, and with it his ouevre as a whole, as much without getting the grande tour first, without having that context so see where he is coming from.

Carol - Indeed. Even inspired me to write a poem: https://letterboxd.com/systematicer/film/carol-1970/
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#17

Post by matthewscott8 » September 6th, 2020, 12:20 pm

Very excited to see this new edition and new approach. I am currently pretty underwater with work but will get back to this thread. It makes me want to quit my job :lol: I have lots of pieces on your list to catch up with, including Fulton and Elder. I have a week off at the start of October so hopefully see you back here then.

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#18

Post by prodigalgodson » September 7th, 2020, 3:43 am

101-150

seen
Ghosts Before Breakfast 6 - on those old Kino Avant Garde DVD sets, but I preferred Richter's more abstract work
The Reflecting Pool 7 - I forget what the twist was with this one, but I liked it
Mediterranee 9 - justified classic
Akran 6 - mixed bag, remember there being some great elements mixed with more stilted, dated ones
Ming Green 9 - underrated classic, progenitor of room cinema as far as I know
Lucifer Rising 10 - boourns, too low; probably the first experimental film I fell in love with

want to
Inca Light - among the ones I'm most eager to see from Fulton
Bleu - if only cuz I love the splitscreen screencap
End - because I frikkin love trains
The Seasons - my main takeaway from Nostos is Piavoli would be great working in a more experimental mode
The Space Between the Teeth - sounds nutty, plus hallways are underrated cinematic spaces
Dawn - abstract industrial footage and daybreak? sign me up
The Fugitive Gods - well, gotta start somewhere
Breakaway - sounds like good tips for music video-ing, plus Conner hasn't let me down yet
Gravity - cool, sounds like a Rappaport essay vid but better
The Unnamed - the description sounds kinda cornball but the cover art looks dope
...Speed of Light in Water - okay I'm intrigued by the description despite the title
On the Road - sounds like the kind of thing I've been into of late
Glens Fall Sequence - cuz I used to love Brakhage's painted stuff and still haven't seen anything else like it
Pestilent City - cool name
Ghost Cell - another cool name
Water and Labour - I should see the work of my philosophical forebears

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#19

Post by prodigalgodson » September 7th, 2020, 5:51 am

Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
September 5th, 2020, 11:28 pm
The Clock - Depends. I think you can't say this as a rule for this film or maybe any films? So I have never seen it "properly" at one of the venues that exhibited it, but it never felt like that to me during the sections I watched, always being engaged, having new thoughts, noticing new connections, etc. I felt that a lot more creativity went into it beyond just the basic concept and the workmanlike job of going through countless hours of film footage to pick out all the footage of clocks.

I presume you caught a lot of the Markopolous goodies in theaters, because much of it isn't available online…

The Society of the Spectacle - It's the film version of Debord's book who was the big daddy of Situationist International, who held a fascinating ideology that still resonates, I find, particularly in its criticism of capitalist societies. They also had some particular ideas about cinema and TV, as you would expect, given that they were major tools of the spectacle they spoke of.

'Are You in a Bad State' and , 'Safe Conditions', 'Call It Sleep' are also Situationist films. As are 'Click Here to Unsubscribe' and 'One.Two.Three.' Also 'Can Dialectics Break Bricks?', essentially, which employs détournement, and provided you have familiarized yourself with SI well enough and/or know your Marx this is pretty much the most hilarious thing ever. Yeah, I'm not picky when it comes to those, I'll latch up almost any anti-capitalist/we-are-living-in-sick-times cinematic rant. I'd recommend giving 'Society of the Spectacle' a look before any of the other ones, or reading the book, to see if it is bullshit or something that you find interesting.

Robert Fulton shorts: http://www.ref3films.com/7-films.html
'The Wings of Man' is the final short (minute 31) but obviously I highly recommend all of them.

Number One - I think it's worth plunging right in with Leighton Pierce, so to speak, with one of his longer works. This is maybe just because that's what my experience with Leighton Pierce was like, having started with '50 Feet on a String'. I thought it was likely that I wouldn't have appreciated his shorter works, and with it his ouevre as a whole, as much without getting the grande tour first, without having that context so see where he is coming from.

Carol - Indeed. Even inspired me to write a poem: https://letterboxd.com/systematicer/film/carol-1970/
The Clock - I dunno about as a rule but speaking for myself there've definitely been times where the abstract conception of the film was more or less equal to the actual experience of watching it (of course, never substitute the former for the latter kids); anyhow you put my idea better than me, which convinces me to seek out at at least some of it again at some point, especially now that I'm more interested in editing and associative flow

Markopolous - yessir, all at the pfa; five nights of programs over a few years, more or less in chronological production order, and I went from half-interested to enthralled as they progressed

Haha, yeah guess I'll have to read Society of the Spectacle before I get into all that (can't say I'm too brushed up on my Marx either). I do love me a good political filmmaking cabal though.

I watched Path of Cessation from that Fulton website, but in addition to the TV station logo there's the filmmaker's name and a (misspelled) link to a stock footage website that I guess owns the rights to his work branded across the bottom of the screen, which is incredibly distracting for this kind of thing especially. I don't know if it's the same with the other films on there, but I do have it bookmarked.

Number One - groovy, I'll give it a go!

Carol - aww sweet, reminds me of Townes van Zandt a little

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#20

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » September 7th, 2020, 7:58 pm

3eyes wrote:
September 5th, 2020, 2:21 pm
Any chance of updating the ICM list?
Don't know, I'm not on iCM, weirdboy made the iCM list in 2017. But I'll send a PM his way to ask if he maybe wants to update it. In any case somebody other than me would have to make the iCM list (and anyone who feels like doing it has my blessing to go ahead).
Thanks for your comment, 3eyes.
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#21

Post by weirdboy » September 8th, 2020, 4:32 am

I have updated the ICM list, except I got that error saying some of the films on the IMDB list are not on ICM yet.
However when I look at the list, it looks like it has the correct number in the correct order.

Honestly I have no idea what happened, but it seems to be working.

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#22

Post by prodigalgodson » September 8th, 2020, 7:09 am

151 - 200; arggh hit reload I hate the internet

seen
Tomatos Another Day 8 - an old favorite from the Kino early avant garde series; I remember you rated this a 6 but watched it like 10 times?
9 Variations on a Dance Theme 7 - a favorite of a high school film teacher; I liked it
Homo Sapiens 10 - never thought I'd like anything so symmetrical not made by Naruse
Fire in Castilla 9 - could go for another spin of this and Aguaespejo
Eastern Avenue 7 - not a favorite but inspirational to see while I was working on my own chronologically-edited art doc
Vesnoy 8 - got to see this in a Vertov retrospective, those Kaufmans are legendary
The Wonder Ring 6 - not among my favorite Brakhages, but dig the Cornell collab

not yet
Critique of Separation - sounds like the kind of thing I would be into, but I'll wait to familiarize myself more with Situationism
Comfort Stations - okay I'll bite
Hatsu Yume - Japan is cinematic
The Second Night - I'm close to my mom, sounds interesting
La Planete verte - sounds like just what the doctor ordered
Circus Savage - like the title and the description
Munchsferatu - not that interested in the film actually, but killer title lol
Unfolding - I'd like to see something from Beeson
moon blink - terrified but curious
The Second Journey - yes please
Love's Refrain - SF's such an underrated cinematic city
Blinkity Blank - I dig McLaren
The Art of Worldly Wisdom - into the confronting mortality subgenre
The Mind's Eye - sounds dope
River Rites - been wanting to see this one
Anthem - sounds epic
Lapis - should see this though I haven't been into some related work, eg Belson

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#23

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » September 8th, 2020, 4:28 pm

A big thank you to weirdboy for updating the :ICM: list.
Link has been added to post #2.
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#24

Post by 3eyes » September 8th, 2020, 7:26 pm

Thanks, Weirdboy (and PdA)!
:run: STILL the Gaffer!

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#25

Post by prodigalgodson » September 9th, 2020, 11:44 pm

Moving right along...

201-300

Away 7 - very nice short
Light 3 - but I didn't like any of the Belson films in the program over 10 years ago
Aguaespejo granadino 10 - one of my favorite shorts, should watch it again
Report 9 - classic
Samadhi 5 - one of the ones I liked most from that screening
New York Portrait, Chapter 1 5 - and I'm usually a big Hutton fan, maybe I was just burned out on his work when I saw it
Rennsymphonie 7 - I think my favorite of Richter's live-actions
Cosmic Ray 9 - classic
Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome 9 - classic
New York Portrait, Chapter 3 6 - saw this more recently at a screening, still didn't make a big impression compared to some of his others
Ritual in Transfigured Time 8 - dope stuff
Black Ice 8 - one of my early favorites from Brakhage
A Movie 8 - fun stuff
Romance sentimental 8 - don't remember anything about it, but saw it early in the Kino avant garde days and apparently liked it a lot
Wavelength 8 - iconic

Breathing - sounds like mandatory stoner viewing
Postcard from Sun City - love some nutty Americana
Unstable Material - well now I wanna see everything from Reble
Distance - sounds like my lane of filmmaking
Factory - factories never get old
Venom and Eternity - sounds kinda pretentious, but should see for historic reasons
Valse Triste - need to see more Conner
In a Summer Garden - sounds pleasant, and always on the lookout for techniques to film gardens
Jeux des reflets - silent experimental docs are the best
Five Minutes of Pure Cinema - so are silent-era abstractions
New York, NY - need city symphony pointers
Imitations of Life - sounds like cinematic Joyce, who I've read none of
Kaldalon - subject matter sounds great, I'm not generally a big fan of filters but
Invisible Adversaries - seems similarly-hewn to the project I'm working on now
Ghost - sounds intense
Art of Memory - had me at "Southwestern landscapes"
Late Season - park films should be their own subgenre
The Elephant Spider - yes please
Oramunde - I like dance films when they're well done, would like to see an earlier example
The Liberation of the Mannique Mechanique - alright I'm curious
Prefaces - had me at "bebop rhythms"
Heliography - the sun never gets old
Mea Culpa - not too into Byrne or Eno but sounds entertaining
Night Awake - description sounds corny, but that poster art is just so evocative
A Spell to Ward of the Darkness - been meaning to see this
Mutible Fire - intriguing description and cover art
Visions of a City - obviously; also "the pace is un-irritating, in contrast to the San Francisco of today" -- wkwkwk
It Felt Like a Kiss - my kind of thing even if it's ground well covered
Bassae - love a good place film
We hear the distant ring of Saturn - looks like Klahr/Geiser territory?
Our Lady of Paris - see Bassae
Hypnosis Display - wack title but sounds like the kind of thing I've been working on
Zone - okay, sold on the title
Floor Show - usually enjoy meta-experimental stuff
Manhattan Medley - always down for some old NY
Bad Burns - good concept, sounds like my kind of Sharits
Remains to Be Seen - groovy, I'm a big Solomon fan
Chronopolis - sold on the description

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#26

Post by prodigalgodson » September 12th, 2020, 11:20 pm

301-400

Daybreak Express 4 - usually love trains, but just wasn't feeling the style
Jumping 7 - saw this years ago, groovy stuff
Skagafjördur 8 - great stuff
Balifilm 8 - love Bali, loved this and Yanti did too
Dream Work 8 - a highlight of modern experimental film
In Titan's Goblet 9 - one of my favorites from Hutton
Flora 4 - Svankmajer's style doesn't usually work great for me
Chakra 4 - again from that Sacred and Profane program from a number of years ago
Eaux d'artifice 8 - an old favorite that held up pretty well when I rewatched it recently
Nocturne 7 - my favorite from von Trier for a few years
Corridor 8 - an early foray for me, really dug it
Night Music 6 - of his hand-painted films, one of the ones that made the least impression on me, but it's been years

All My Life - not sure how well this would age but should be worth seeing anyhow
A Touch - sounds up my alley
Migration - sounds trippy
Ancient of Days - sounds very helpful
The Cage - usually enjoy these little experimental narrative things
Little Russia - sounds pretty nutty
The Inextinguishable Fire - I really have to get around to Farocki
Rameau's Nephew - Snow hasn't missed with me yet, and this sounds especially pleasant
On Sundays - old school SF vibes
Energie! - sounds fun
Amor - want to see more from Beavers
Quixote - sounds way too up my alley, will prioritize this
Outerborough - sounds aesthetic
The Golden Gate - very eager for more Reble now
Here I Am - also sounds up my alley
Science Friction - sounds like a worthwhile document
The Gate to the Mind's Eye - sounds like a fun one to get high to
Mutiny - want to see more from Child
Valparaiso - have wanted to see this one for awhile
Spacy - sold on the description
Mass for the Dakota Sioux - wow all these Baillie films sound good
Liquid Crystals - sounds dope, didn't know Painleve was still working then
Psalm II - sounds way up my alley, and I've loved the other Psalms I've seen
Tarantella - the Absolute Film, huh? I'm curious
Tudzhi - had me at metal works
Coney Island at Night - can't go wrong
Memory - okay, I can take five minutes to 'greatly expand my imagination'
Global Groove - subverting technology, my kind of thing
Glass - had me at glass factory
Altair - thought I'd seen it actually, but I tend to enjoy Klahr
Film Strips I - sounds like my lane

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#27

Post by prodigalgodson » September 16th, 2020, 7:26 am

And the rest!

Alone. 6 - not bad but not my bag
Decasia 8 - loved it, think I would've loved it more without music
Dejeuner du matin 8 - definitely his best after L'ange
Free Radicals 8 - don't remember this at all but apparently I liked it a lot
Outer Space 9 - maybe Tscherkassky's best
Motion Painting No. 1 6 - see Andy Hardy
Still Raining, Still Dreaming 7 - cool but my least favorite of the GTA films actually
The General Returns from One Place to Another 7 - another one I've seen and apparently liked but don't remember at all

Skiing Scenes - sounds delightfully goofy/aesthetic
Perils - well the whole series
Light Year - yes please
Landscape - need to see my missing Huttons
The Exquisite Hour - need more Solomon
Lang - I'm intrigued
Soleil - sounds up my alley aesthetically and thematically
Offering - sounds very formally valuable
Altiplano - very excited til I got to "bright blue sun" -- if this isn't some digital fuckery I'm in
Fragment of Seeking - Harrington is that dude
Walking from Munich to Berlin - curious as long as it's not too long
Trains Are for Dreaming - really tho
The Secret Garden - Solomon
The Assignation - sounds dope
Light Licks - cautiously curious
Malfilm - solid title
Radio Dynamics - curious about "color rhythms"
Aos - sounds like my kind of animation
Les mains negative - need more Duras
By the Time We Got to Expo - found footage ftw
No. 3: Interwoven - sounds at the very least historically valuable
Salinas - I eat salt
Le Christ dans la cite - crosses are aesthetic and I need some Hanoun
The Fourth Watch - Geiser is hit-and-miss with me (with a better ratio than Klahr), but I'd be down for more
Themis - love some good primitive experimental cinema
Elegy - sounds very very up my alley
Expansion - well, first things first with Ecstasy
Saudade - need me some more JC
Stardust - intriguing concept, Provost's name sounds familiar...
Arabesques - like the shapes, and should see more Dulac
Covert Action - "a story like rumor," I like that
Memory Lane - nothing like some good found footage
A Journey That Wasn't - sounds up all my alleys
These Places We've Learned to Call Home - so curious about Oppenheimer now
Insan - a Sudanese take on the Perfumed Nightmare trope? I'm in
Panta Rei - I just wanna see Holland tbh
Moods of the Sea - can't go wrong, right?
All the Cities of the North - the descriptions corny, but intriguing
NY, NY - bring on more NY!
Wild Night in El Reno - sounds perfect, been meaning to see more Kuchar too
Just Ancient Loops - sounds dope
Wonder - not a big abstract animation fan, but the "ultimate analog approach in the digital era" tickles my curiousity
Eyetoon - great review in the letterboxd description
Some of the Sensations - I dig parallels between old and new
Another Occupation - ooh, stroboscopic

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#28

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » September 18th, 2020, 10:37 am

@prodigalgodson

The Unnamed - I made that poster for letterboxd, using three shots from the film (including the title screen).
Tomatos Another Day - Yeah, it didn't immediately strike me as a transcendental work of art, but it's a keeper, I'm still watching it periodically. Such a unique, amusing oddity.
Nocturne - Oh, the von Trier film was alright, but this actually was meant to be 'Nocturne' by Phil Solomon (both 1980, at least according to IMDb). - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0282027/
Stardust - >intriguing concept, Provost's name sounds familiar…< - Same dude as 'Gravity' on the list.

Thank you for your thorough commenting.
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#29

Post by weirdboy » September 20th, 2020, 10:53 am

I re-watched Social Life of Urban Spaces and bumped it up a bit on my personal list. What a great way to present experimental results.

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