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Holly Willis

3D Experiments From Ken Jacobs

It hasn't been a good summer for 3-D. Amidst waning audiences and reports of some brutal eyestrain, in June DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told The Hollywood Reporter, "I think 3-D is right smack in the middle of its terrible twos," as if the misbehaving format simply needs to grow up......
Marco Brambilla

Marco Brambilla at Santa Monica Museum of Art

"A lion in your lap! A lover in your arms!" The lurid poster for Bwana Devil, the 1952 adventure film starring man-eating lions and touted as the world's first movie made in "Natural Vision 3 Dimension," launched the 3-D movie craze of the 1950s. The film industry was in decline......
Double Tide

Clammed Up: Double Tide

The Maine clam lives roughly nine inches below the wet surface of the coastal mudflats, where a small hole alone reveals its presence. For the clam digger slogging across the wide-open fields of muck left exposed at low tide, each step also sinks about half a foot, the mud swallowing......
The Trimorphic Hypotheses

"Toy”-Camera Film Festival: The Kids Stay in the Pxl

The highlight of PXL This 18, the annual showcase of short videos made using the Fisher Price PXL Vision toy camera, is The Trimorphic Hypotheses, a 17-minute sci-fi landscape mystery created in spectacular “PXL-RAMA,” described as “a devolutionary breakthrough in analog postproduction, turning the crisp, high-definition video of today’s best......
Ai (Love); Credit: Takahiko Iimura

The Blinding Cinema of Takahiko Iimura

Words that describe the work of Japanese experimental-media artist Takahiko Iimura: formalist, structuralist, poetic, hilarious, conceptual, meditative, sexual, astute, absurd, hypnotic ... The list could easily continue because the prolific artist’s varied 40-year career has touched on so many different genres and strategies. Iimura, the subject of a 10-day multivenue......

O’er the Land: Deborah Stratman's Haunted American Spirits

Deborah Stratman’s new film, O’er the Land, takes its title from the final line of the first stanza of the National Anthem, when Francis Scott Key wondered if the flag still waved “o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” The anthem and what it connotes......
FM/TRCS; Credit: Coleen Fitzgibbon

Kitchen-Sink Experimentalism

One of the gratifying side effects of contemporary media overload and its frequent inanity is a keen hunger of viewers for challenging, provocative work, and what better place to search for it than the history of avant-garde cinema? New York–based artists Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder did just that, and......
Fuji; Credit: Anthology Film Archives

Moving Figures: The Animated World of Robert Breer

Lines stretch, curve and splinter into shards, dynamically sketching a busy street with tall buildings, flitting birds and, finally, a man and his dog walking in the city: Robert Breer’s ebullient 1957 animation A Man And His Dog Out For Air thrills in the fluid dance between line and figure,......
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Mini Mogul

An iconic image in Driving Men (2007), the newest work by L.A.-based videomaker Susan Mogul, shows Mogul's own shadow on the ground, a darkened shape with e...
Driving Men; Credit: Rhoda Blate Mogul

Driving Men: Mini Mogul

Rhoda Blate Mogul (Click to enlarge) Driving Men An iconic image in Driving Men (2007), the newest work by L.A.-based videomaker Susan Mogul, shows Mogul’s own shadow on the ground, a darkened shape with elbows bent and the boxy outline of a video camera hovering at eye level. For several......