Reflection On: Experimental Cinema

Posted on December 1, 2010 
Filed under Uncategorized

To begin, I am not exactly a huge fan of independent cinema.  I find much of it difficult to understand and as I plan on going into the business side of entertainment, it’s hard to see much money coming from any of this.  I realize that the majority of these films were done for artistic representation and not for monetary purposes.  However, I just don’t feel that some of them should be releveant in today’s society.

My first example of this regards the film “Mothlight.”  Although “Mothlight” may be an exception as it was the first of its kind, it astounds me that this type of so-called film making  does not really take much skill.  If anything it takes patience and time, something, which I admit few of us have but if given could produce something similar.  Contributions in art are relative to each person and their view, however, this is just my opinion and I do not find the pleasure in studying films such as these.

The film “Mothlight” reminded me of a drawing at an art museum that I visited on one of my trips to Washington D.C.  The museum was filled with modern art and one of the “drawings” was of a clock.  It was drawn with a red crayon and was as simple as it sounds, just a red circle with red numbers on the inside.  I was young when I saw this and I still remember to this day turning to my dad and asking him why that was in the museum and he honestly had no idea.  The way I felt about the clock drawing is similiar to the way I felt when we watched “Mothlight” and “Meshes of the Afternoon.”  Both of these films have been studied extensively and given awards for their creative and experimental tactics so maybe it’s just me who’s missing the point but as much as I try to see it I just can’t.

To keep this short and readable I won’t go into depth on my next point but, I did thoroughly enjoy one experimental film from the sequence we viewed.  This was “Kustom Kar Kommados” by Kenneth Anger.  Anger’s film not only brought sense in a class filled with mystery but also I felt showed the true path that led to music videos.  This is the kind of experimental film that is simple to understand and enjoy because it has a purpose.  Not every film method can be experimented with through the feature style, therefore, directors like Anger create short films to test out the success and appeal of these methods.

There’s much more I could talk about on this topic as I am quite passionate, however each person has their own opinion and maybe some of you can see more in most of these films than I can.  If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them.



3 Responses to “Reflection On: Experimental Cinema”

  1.  Sinyee Cindy Leung on December 2nd, 2010 6:00 pm

    I agree that experimental films are not supposed to be made for monetary purpose because they are not for everyone and I think they are something in the museum…
    For me, “films” generally are something which can show how people act, how things go and how the stories go. But experimental films are totally different from any of these purposes and I think the reason why they are so special because experimental/independent filmmakers think that they should do something different (there are just some people think they should do something which do not fit in the mainstream…)
    They are more like a punch of artists (this doesnt mean that mainstream filmmakers are not artists) who create abstract paintings or sculptures. But based on what they did to the films, I was really focusing on the cinematography but not on the plot, despite the fact that there is no any plot in them. The last movie we watch in the class (the gayest movie), I was really focusing on the “pink” atmosphere, the light reflecting on the car, the way the man cleaning his car, the camera angles, etc. And when we are watching mainstream film, I think cinematography is something you need to be super-concentrated in order to notice while keep following the plot.
    I feel like I dont have any difficulties in keeping tracking the cinematography in experimental films because again, there is no plot!

  2.  maureen on December 5th, 2010 1:30 pm

    Your skepticism about the value of experimental films mirrors mine regarding certain displays in museums like MOMA. There are some films that are brilliantly created, while others are pointless. While theatrics and sensation make a film, I feel that some directors and/or producers fail to realize that viewers want there to be a purpose or a point. But, without being cynical, some experimental films, regardless of their intention or lack, thereof, should receive the credit solely of artistic talent and composition.

  3.  njdonofrio on December 20th, 2010 10:07 pm

    I really like this discussion a lot. Film is generally accepted as an art form, so what makes a film more “artistic” than another? Is the question in the plot, or lack thereof, or is it in the intention of the film-makers, whether they intend it to be a piece of art for the sake of making art, or as something that will sell big in the box office?

    You are all asking some interesting questions.


    Natalia D.

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