Masterworks of American Avant-garde Experimental Film 1920-1970 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

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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.

Included on this premiere collection of 37 films are the most acclaimed names of American avant-garde experimental filmmaking, including Charles Sheeler, Paul Strand, Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy, Rrose Sélavy (Marcel Duchamp), Robert Florey, Slavko Vorkapich, Ralph Steiner, Jay Leyda, James Sibley Watson, Jr., Melville Webber, Emlen Etting, Oskar Fischinger, Joseph Cornell, Mary Ellen Bute, Ted Nemeth, Rudy Burckhardt, Francis Lee, Maya Deren, Alexander Hackenschmied, Helen Levitt, Janice Loeb, James Agee, James Broughton, Kenneth Anger, Ian Hugo, Anaïs Nin, Len Lye, Jim Davis, Hy Hirsh, Marie Menken, Francis Thompson, Hilary Harris, Bruce Baillie, George Landow, Jonas Mekas, Lawrence Jordan, Tom Palazzolo, Lawrence Janiak, Amy Greenfield, Phil Solomon, and Stan Brakhage.

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 George Antheil, Louis Siegel, William O. Smith, Gene Forrell, Arthur Kleiner, Louis & Bebe Barron, Donald Sosin, Eric Beheim, Rodney Sauer, Gustavo Matamoros, Henry Wolfe, and Phil Carluzzo.

Starring: Jules Raucourt, Friederich Haak, Elizabeth Binney Montgomery, Maya Deren, Alexandr Hackenschmied, Anaïs Nin

Directed By: Charles Sheeler, Paul Strand, Fernand Léger, Rrose Sélavy (Marcel Duchamp), Bruce Baillie, Amy Greenfield, Maya Deren, Alexander Hackenschmied, Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage

Written By: 

Score By: Donald Sosin, George Antheil, Eric Beheim, Rodney Sauer, Gustavo Matamoros, Henry Wolfe, Phil Carluzzo

Language: English

Video: 1080P / 1.33:1 / Black and White & Tinted Color

Audio: DTS-HD Master 2.0

Subtitles: None

Theatrical Release: 1920-1970

Runtime: 418 Minutes

Rating: NR (Not Rated)

Region Code: Region A

Special Features: Sappho and Jerry, Parts 1-3 (1977-78, dir. Bruce Posner) / Seasons... (2002, dir. Phil Solomon, Stan Brakhage) / Ch’an (1983, dir. FrancisLee) with music by Christopher Atwood / 28-page booklet featuring an essay and extensive notes on restorations by curator, filmmaker, and film historian Bruce Posner

Genre: Experimental, Anthology