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Avant Garde Film & Video Analysis Assignment

Deadline: Tuesday 11/29

Format: Three type written pages minimum, double space.

Avant Garde films & videos are available as videotapes from the Cinema office video collection see Dept Seretary Kathy Horton. Room SW B41 & the Reserve Desk at The Fine Arts Library. (See below.) It is important that film be really an Avant Garde work. You can only use the films listed here. If you think you found access to one that is not listed, consult the professor. Otherwise paper may be returned to you. Analysis from U Tube and films already shown in class (even if listed in list below) are not acceptable.

The film should be available on video so you can do repeated viewings and close textual analysis with the material object rather than your “memory” of it. This assignment requires immersion with the film. Watch as many times as you can. You can even freeze images or use the slow motion feature to better examine what is happening visually.

Write an analysis on a short section of the film you choose . A few sequences may be fine. Look for what is unusual and distinctive about the way the film is made, its formal qualities, its cinema . What are the techniques used to structure the film. How does the filming, editing or sound challenges us and surprises us? How these formal elements contribute to or interact with our understanding of the film?

Your essay should discuss how the film exploits elements of film form by using detailed, concrete references to specific scenes and shots in the film. Describe the strategies being used but also, just as important, what do these strategies bring to your experience of the film. Points will be deducted for poor grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Please proof read your papers carefully!


Composition, Camera Movement and Speed of Motion. Perspective Relations, Depth of Field, other use of lenses, focus. Lighting–including quality, source, direction and color. Space–organization of space (movement, color, balance); depth (planes of action, perspective, and shallow/deep space).


Graphic relations, rhythmic relations. Spatial relations, temporal relations. Use of different source materials such as found footage, photography, written text etc. Relation between sound and image.


Selection, alteration, and combinations of different types of sounds, music, voice over. Rhythm, fidelity, space and time.

NOTES: This is not a review nor is there any need for a lengthy account of the film’s narrative. Long descriptions will not be favorably looked upon as distinct from descriptions which lead to or derive from making a point/s. Information found through research is not here the object of this paper. If used that information needs to be brief and be part of a developing argument. Remember that all information and quotes being used from other sources need to be attributed. Read in Syllabus about consequences of plagiarism.

List of Experimental films and videos available on videos for analysis from:

This is a preliminary but incomlete list of available experimental DVDs and videos. A more complete list will be available soon.

1) From Film Office Student Wing SW B41, See Kathy Horton:

Hours: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Important notes: Videos and DVDs can only be viewed during office hours in screening room SW B13. Screening facility is available in cinema dept library. You will not be able to begin screening a video after 3:00pm.


Hand painted Films , Brakhage, Stan

Fire Loop , Kindering , Loud Visual Noise s, I dreaming by Brakhage, Stan

Tales of the Forgottern Future by Lewis Klahr

Les Rendez vous d’Anna by Chantal Ackerman

Matthias Muller, Selected Films.

Dave Ryan , Films by

Arnold, Martin, Cinemesis

Holly Fisher, Bullet for Breakfast

Holly Fisher, Kalamasutra

Herwitz, Peter


Treasures IV: American Avant Garde Films, (2 DVD set) 1947-1982

(Countains works by major AG filmmakers such as Frampton, Menken, Sharits etc)

By Stan Brakhage (2 DVD set)

Bruce Conner Vol 1&2

Maya Deren Experimental Films

Brothers Quay

Peripheral Produce, Anthology recent exp film works

Solomon, Phil

Sonic Outlaws, Baldwin, Craig

Anger, Kenneth

Warhol, Andy

Man with a Movie Camera, Dziga Vertov

Blood of a Poet, Jean Cocteau

Uman, Naomi

Smith, Harry

Sachs, Lynn

Robinson, Michael

Michele Smith Regarding Penelope’s Wake .

Cineseizure, works of Martin Arnold

La Jettee by Chris Marker

Joan of Arc by Carl Dryer

Berlin Symphony, Ruttman

McCormick, Matt, From Tuggboat..

Nishikawa, Tom, Aleatoric Cinema

Lye, Len

Klahr, Lewis

Avant Garde 3 Early Exp Film compilation.

Arnold, Martin, Cinemesis

2) From the Binghamton University Fine Arts Library (Reserve Desk):

(Videotapes for the most part can be taken out overnight or viewed on site. Please return as soon as possible to make it possible for your caolleagues to use. Or share!)

Treasures IV: American Avant Garde Films, (2 DVD set) 1947-1982

(Countains works by major AG filmmakers such as Frampton, Menken, Sharits etc)

Films by Paul Sharits

Le Sang d’un Poet by Jean Cocteau

Berlin Symphony of the City, Ruttman

Tom Tom the Piper’s Son by Ken Jacobs

L’age d’Or by Luis Bunuel

Kenneth Anger, Fireworks, Puce Moment, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome

Conner, Bruce, A Movie etc

Norman McLaren, A fairy Tale

Len Lye, Rhythms and other films

Stan Brakhage, By Stan Brakhage (2 DVD set)

Sans Soleil by Chris Marker

Brothers Quay Collection

Leighten Pierce, Films

Leighten Pierce, Digital Videos

Pull My Daisy, Robert Frank

Sink or Swim by Su Friedrich

Gently Down the Stream by Su Friedrich

Collected Works by Tscherkassky, Peter

Avant Garde, Exp Cinema 1920’s and 30’s

Avant Garde 2, Exp Cinema 1928-1954

Kurt Kren Structural Films

Bill Viola, Selected Works VHS

Exploration of Presence, Video Compilation, Kate HorsField

Investigation of Phenomenal World, Video Compilation, Kate HorsField

Hostage, Bachar Tapes, Wallid Raad

The Dead Weight of a Quarrel Hangs, Walid Raad

Leventhal, Dani, Draft 9

Pull My Daisy, Robert Frank DVD

Robert Breer, Recreation

Bruce Bailey, Films (VHS not great condition)

Paul Sharits, Mendala Films

Weather Diary 5, George Kuchar

Hold Me While I am Naked, George Kuchar

Chris Welsby, Films