A Page of Madness

Description: This 1926 film, directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa, is considered to be one of the first Japanese experimental films. Despite the fact that its story is fairly straightforward by modern standards of “experimental,” the film uses a number of innovative and effective techniques of camerawork, cutting, multiple exposures, lighting, montage editing, and even elements of […]

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Three Minute Wonders

Description: Luke Fowler directed four short films for Channel 4’s 3 Minute Wonder slot; four portraits of four people who live in the same Victorian tenement in Glasgow. Even though the films are about the people and titled according to their names, the residents themselves barely appear. What is shown instead are the smallest details […]

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The Ghosts

Description: Made by New York-based artist Sue de Beer, The Ghosts follows the experiences of three people (a financial manager or accountant, a record store owner, and a young woman named Claire) as they visit a hypnotist in an attempt to deal with the burden of parting and loss. In their visions, they encounter ghosts of […]

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The Hands of Orlac

Description: Director Robert Wiene, most famous for the Expressionist masterpiece The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, delves into more intensely ambiguous physiological territory in this 1924 film. Pianist Paul Orlac loses his hands in a railway accident and a surgeon replaces them with the hands of a recently-executed murderer. Upon learning this, Orlac becomes convinced that […]

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Titicut Follies

Description: Lawyer-turned-filmmaker Frederick Wiseman’s foray into documentary auteurism came with Titicut Follies (1967), a cogent profile of Massachusetts’ Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane. The film’s namesake is an ambiguously demeaning and chilling talent show put on by inmates—“Titicut” being the Wampanoag word for the nearby Taunton River. This was four years after John […]

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La Marche des Machines / Les Nuits Eléctriques / Montparnasse

Description: Born out of the Czech and French avant-garde movements of the ’20s, Eugène Deslaw’s silent documentaries all share a certain meditative drift to their montage, at once emphasizing strong and abstract rhythms in photography that make for almost hypnotically smooth and fascinating transitions. His second film, La Marche des Machines (March of the Machines), […]

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Martyrs of Love

Description: Jan Nemec’s now-rarely seen and largely-unavailable film, Martyrs of Love, made in 1966. The three stories that make up the film are about loners in search of love, with often ironic results. Two of Czechoslovakia’s star singers, Marta Kubisova and Karel Gott, appear in minor roles and supply songs. Though this version has no […]

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