We are here to discuss the various ways digital technologies have, and have not, impacted experimental filmmaking. There was a time, in the mid-1990s, if not before, when some people argued that digital technologies were revolutionary and that they would fundamentally change filmmaking. Now that the dust has settled, or at least started to settle, and we can look back over the last fifteen or twenty years, the “digital revolution” might not seem like a revolution at all. We want to talk about both what has stayed the same and what has changed in experimental filmmaking thanks to the advent of digital technologies.
The first time I saw Gunvor’s brash, feminist 1966 moving image carnival “Schmeerguntz”, I was about 25 years old, still too young (I thought) to identify with her funky discourse on motherhood and domesticity. In a sense, I watched Gunvor’s cinematic collaboration with her friend Dorothy Wiley as a child might furtively read her mother’s journals.
“Naming an international film festival after a term for subjectivity is, in my mind, a radical stance. Rather than taking the more obvious city or country identified name, which brings attention to the community, the Punto de Vista festival celebrates a first person cinema based on the documentary practice of working with reality, that privileges the expression of ideas over the dissemination of information.”
Our cinematic relationship to Argentina began in 2007, when the Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente (BAFICI) invited Lynne to show a retrospective of her films. During the one week she was in this film-crazy city, she met Pablo Marin and Leandro Listorti, two extraordinarily active Argentine experimental filmmakers with a commitment to making movies and screening and writing about their thriving alternative film community.
For over seventy years, a steady stream of letters was exchanged between Alexander Lenard and members of my family in Memphis, Tennessee. Most of these reflections on everything from stock market prices to family trips, to the legacy of war to the cost of cranberry seeds, were exchanged between Sandor (he was called in the family by his Hungarian first name, without the accent) and my great-uncle William (a.k.a. Bill) Goodman.
In my twenty year relationship as audience to Lynne Sachs’ filmworks, I have always admired her amazing ability to connect the very personal, physical relationship of ‘selfhood’ to film and film history and to collage a variety of complex themes into one complete film, often with challenging ambiguity and open endedness.
We’ve been spying on children in the city for about a century now.
Using our movie cameras, we become omniscient god-like figures who
traipse behind a mischievous boy or a dreamy girl, privy to their
every move, even their thoughts, and, in this way, finding a
deceptively easy access to our own pasts.
Inspired by her children’s ubiquitous ABC picture books, not to mention the traditions of avant-garde alphabetizing, experimental mainstay Lynne Sachs concocted Abecedarium: NYC, an exquisite online corpse of cinematic cartography.