Masterworks of American Avant-garde Experimental Film 1920-1970

A 4-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Edition that includes 37 films, restored to pristine high-definition, from some of the foremost experimental filmmakers of the 20th century.

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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.

Contains 28-page booklet featuring an essay and extensive notes on restorations by curator, filmmaker, and film historian Bruce Posner

The 37 Films in the digital retrospective include:

The 1920s
Manhatta (1920-21) by Charles Sheeler, Paul Strand
Ballet Mechanique (1923-24) by Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy
Anémic cinéma (filmed 1924-25, released 1926) by Rrose Sélavy a.k.a. Marcel Duchamp
The Life and Death of 9413–A Hollywood Extra (1927) by Robert Florey, Slavko Vorkapich
Skyscraper Symphony (1929) by Robert Florey

The 1930s
Mechanical Principles (1930) by Ralph Steiner
A Bronx Morning (1931) by Jay Leyda
Lot in Sodom (1930-32, released 1933) by J.S. Watson, Jr., Melville Webber, Alec Wilder, Remsen Wood, Bernard O’Brien.
Poem 8 (1932-33) by Emlen Etting
An Optical Poem (1937, MGM release 1938) by Oskar Fischinger
Thimble Theater (c. 1938, unfinished until 1968) by Joseph Cornell

The 1940s
Tarantella (1940) by Mary Ellen Bute, Ted Nemeth, animation Norman McLaren
The Pursuit of Happiness (1940) by Rudy Burckhardt
1941 (1941) by Francis Lee
Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) by Maya Deren, A. Hackenschmied
Meditation on Violence (1948) by Maya Deren
In the Street (filmed 1945-46, released 1948, 1952) by Helen Levitt, Janice Loeb, James Agee.

The 1950s
Four in the Afternoon (1950-51) by James Broughton
Abstronic (1952) by Mary Ellen Bute, Ted Nemeth
Eaux d’artifice (1953) by Kenneth Anger
Bells of Atlantis (1952-53) by Ian Hugo, Anaïs Nin, Len Lye
Evolution (1954) by Jim Davis
Gyromorphosis (1954) by Hy Hirsh
Hurry, Hurry! (1957) by Marie Menken
N.Y., N.Y. (filmed 1949-57, released 1958) by Francis Thompson

The 1960s
9 Variations on a Dance Theme (1966/67) by Hilary Harri
Castro Street (The Coming of Consciousness) (1966) by Bruce Baillie
Film That Rises to the Surface of Clarified Butter (1968) by Owen Land, Excerpt from Walden: Diaries, Notes and Sketches (1969) by Jonas Mekas
Our Lady of the Sphere (1969) by Lawrence Jordan

Love It / Leave It (1970) by Tom Palazzolo
DL2 (Disintegration Line #2) (1970) by Lawrence Janiak
Transport (1970) by Amy Greenfield

Legacy Bonus Films
Curator’s Carte Blanche
Sappho and Jerry, Parts 1-3 (1977-78) by Bruce Posner
Ch’an (1983) by Francis Lee
Seasons… (2002) by Phil Solomon, Stan Brakhage
Manhatta (1920-21) by Charles Sheeler, Paul Strand

Author(s) Charles Sheeler, Paul Strand, Fernand Léger, Rrose Sélavy (Marcel Duchamp), Bruce Baillie, Amy Greenfield, Maya Deren, Alexander Hackenschmied, Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, and more
Artist(s) Donald Sosin, George Antheil, Eric Beheim, Rodney Sauer , Gustavo Matamoros, Henry Wolfe, Phil Carluzzo
Format Blu-ray/DVD Combo, DVD NTSC Region 1, Blu-ray Region A
Original format 16mm, 35mm
Year 1920-1970
Language(s) English
Runtime 418 minutes
Publisher Flicker Alley & Blackhawk Films

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