Official Description: Flicker Alley and the Blackhawk Films® Collection, in collaboration with Filmmakers Showcase, are proud to present Masterworks of American Avant-garde Experimental Film 1920-1970 in a 4-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Edition. This breathtaking collection includes 37 films, restored to pristine high-definition, from some of the foremost experimental filmmakers of the 20th century.
Commencing in 1920 with Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand’s creative collaboration on Manhatta, successive generations of experimental filmmakers and artists have worked in collaboration or alone to create a cinema capable of expressing dynamic unspoken concepts in totally abstract visual terms.
To watch these films is to see the world anew through cinematic interventions: fast cutting, expressive camerawork, abstract animation, surrealistic collage, distorted and superimposed imagery, and many more extraordinary techniques. Essentially the filmmakers ask us to open our eyes and see, to permit the reception of pure sensations uninhibited by any complex web of predetermined associations dominant in mainstream Hollywood cinema.
Collected from archives around the world, and beautifully restored in high definition, the majority of vintage silent films in Masterworks of American Avant-garde Experimental Film 1920-1970 feature new musical scores from innovative composers Donald Sosin, George Antheil, Eric Beheim, Rodney Sauer, Gustavo Matamoros, Henry Wolfe and Phil Carluzzo.
Distributor: Flicker Alley
Manhatta (1920-21) by Charles Sheeler, Paul Strand
2K digital restoration from 35mm 1.33:1 black & white silent 16fps, 11:41 minutes; new music by Donald Sosin
Ballet Mechanique (1923-24) by Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy
2K digital restoration from 35mm 1.33:1 black & white with color tints silent 20fps, 15:53 minutes; music by George Antheil from original 1924-25 score adapted and arranged by Paul D. Lehrman and remixed by Gustavo Matamoros
Anémic cinéma (filmed 1924-25, released 1926) by Rrose Sélavy a.k.a. Marcel Duchamp
35mm 1.33:1 black & white silent 20fps, 6:40 minutes; new music by Gustavo Matamoros
The Life and Death of 9413–A Hollywood Extra (1927) by Robert Florey, Slavko Vorkapich
35mm 1.33:1 black & white silent 20fps, 13:20 minutes; new music by Donald Sosin
Skyscraper Symphony (1929) by Robert Florey
35mm 1.33:1 black & white silent 24fps, 8:53 minutes; new music by Donald Sosin
Mechanical Principles (1930) by Ralph Steiner
35mm 1.33:1 black & white silent 20fps, 10:18 minutes; new music by Eric Beheim
A Bronx Morning (1931) by Jay Leyda
35mm 1.33:1 black & white silent 20fps, 14:05 minutes; new music by Donald Sosin
Lot in Sodom (1930-32, released 1933) by J.S. Watson, Jr., Melville Webber, Alec Wilder, Remsen Wood, Bernard O’Brien.
35mm 1:20:1 black & white sound, 25:53 minutes; music by Louis Siegel
Poem 8 (1932-33) by Emlen Etting
16mm 1.37:1 black & white silent 18fps, 19:40 minutes; new music by Rodney Sauer
An Optical Poem (1937, MGM release 1938) by Oskar Fischinger
35mm 1.33:1 color sound, 7:02 minutes; music Hungarian Rhapsody, No. 2 by Franz Liszt
Thimble Theater (c. 1938, unfinished until 1968) by Joseph Cornell
16mm 1.37:1 black & white with color tint silent 18fps, 6:07 minutes; completed by Lawrence Jordan; new music:
vintage circus organ
Tarantella (1940) by Mary Ellen Bute, Ted Nemeth, animation Norman McLaren
35mm 1.37:1 color sound, 4:24 minutes; music by Edwin Gerschefski
The Pursuit of Happiness (1940) by Rudy Burckhardt
16mm 1.37:1 black & white intentionally silent 16fps, 8:09 minutes
1941 (1941) by Francis Lee
35mm from 16mm 1.37:1 color sound, 4 minutes; music by Igor Stravinsky
Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) by Maya Deren, A. Hackenschmied
16mm 1.37:1 black & white intentionally silent, 13:46 minutes
Meditation on Violence (1948) by Maya Deren
35mm enlarged from 16mm with 2K digital insert from 16mm 1.37:1 black & white sound, 12:27 minutes; music a mix of Chinese classical flute and drums recorded in Haiti by Maya Deren
In the Street (filmed 1945-46, released 1948, 1952) by Helen Levitt, Janice Loeb, James Agee.
16mm 1.37:1 black & white silent 18fps, 16:50 minutes; music by Arthur Kleiner
Four in the Afternoon (1950-51) by James Broughton
16mm 1.37:1 black & white sound, 14 minutes; music by William O. Smith
Abstronic (1952) by Mary Ellen Bute, Ted Nemeth
35mm 1.37:1 color sound, 5:45 minutes; music Hoe Down by Aaron Copland, Ranch House Party by Don Gillis
Eaux d’artifice (1953) by Kenneth Anger
16mm 1.37:1 black & white tinted color sound, 12:57 minutes; music “Winter” movement of The Four Seasons by
Bells of Atlantis (1952-53) by Ian Hugo, Anaïs Nin, Len Lye
16mm 1.37.1 color sound, 9:27 minutes; electronic music Louis & Bebe Barron.
Evolution (1954) by Jim Davis
16mm 1.37:1 color sound, 8:01 minutes.
Gyromorphosis (1954) by Hy Hirsh
16mm 1.37:1 color sound, 6:40 minutes; music: Django by John Lewis, played by the Modern Jazz Quartet
Hurry, Hurry! (1957) by Marie Menken
16mm 1.37:1 color sound, 4:27 minutes.
N.Y., N.Y. (filmed 1949-57, released 1958) by Francis Thompson
35mm from 16mm 1.37:1 color sound, 15:10 minutes; music by Gene Forrell
9 Variations on a Dance Theme (1966/67) by Hilary Harri
16mm 1.37 black & white sound, 12:39 minutes; music by McNeil Robinson.
Castro Street (The Coming of Consciousness) (1966) by Bruce Baillie
16mm 1.37:1 color sound, 9:59 minutes
Film That Rises to the Surface of Clarified Butter (1968) by Owen Land, formerly George Landow
16mm 1.37:1 black & white sound, 8:26 minutes
Excerpt from Walden: Diaries, Notes and Sketches (1969) by Jonas Mekas
16mm 1.37:1; color sound excerpt end of Reel 5 and beginning of Reel 6, 13:05 minutes; music by Frédéric Chopin, Group Image
Our Lady of the Sphere (1969) by Lawrence Jordan
35mm from 16mm 1.37:1 color sound, 9:14 minutes
Love It / Leave It (1970) by Tom Palazzolo
16mm 1.37:1; color sound, 14:07 minutes; music by Ray Whilding White
DL2 (Disintegration Line #2) (1970) by Lawrence Janiak
16mm 1.37:1 color sound, 11:46 minutes; music Bumblebees Sip Honey by Peliatan Gamelan
Transport (1970) by Amy Greenfield
16mm 1.37:1 color sound, 5:43 minutes; music by Indiran
Legacy Bonus Films
Sappho and Jerry, Parts 1-3 (1977-78) by Bruce Posner
35mm 2.55:1 reformatted to 1080 color sound, 5:35 minutes
Ch’an (1983) by Francis Lee
16mm 1.37 black & white sound, 6:08 minutes; music by Christopher Atwood
Seasons… (2002) by Phil Solomon, Stan Brakhage
16mm 1.37:1 color silent, 16:00 minutes
Manhatta (1920-21) by Charles Sheeler, Paul Strand
See first entry – new music composed and performed by Henry Wolfe and Phil Carluzzo.
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