I’d like to propose an Avant-Garde Film Blog-A-Thon on Wednesday, August 2. (The initial brief discussions of this idea can be found in the comments to this post; scroll way down.) The vast majority of movie writing on the web is on non-avant-garde cinema, and I think we might be able to make a modest but potentially valuable contribution to cinema resources on the web with this project, even if the size of the group ends up being smaller than our critical crusades for Showgirls, Abel Ferrara, etc.
If you’d like to join us, please e-mail me or leave a comment and I will make sure to link to your post in mine. So far, those who have signed up or have expressed interest in doing so include: Acquarello, Mubarak, Brian, and Peter. And I’m going to be bold enough to volunteer Darren since it was his comment that started the ball rolling. Plus, what’s a blog-a-thon without the guy who coined the word in the first place?
And now I’d like to ask for your help. If you can think of avant-garde/experimental films easily available on region 1 DVD, please feel free to post names of films or filmmakers in the comments. It would help us build a resource pool of titles for people to draw from when they are making their choices.
How does one define avant-garde/experimental cinema for this purpose? My own inclination would be to do so loosely and inclusively. Netflix has a really loose definition of experimental cinema, so use your judgment. (A quick peek at their Experimental section reveals Rocky Horror Picture Show, Heathers, Blood Simple, and—this is amusing—Showgirls.)
The mother lode of avant-garde/experimental cinema on DVD is without doubt the 7-disc Unseen Cinema set, containing 160 films, available at both Netflix and Greencine. For my own post, I’m leaning towards the films of Joseph Cornell. I just finished reading Deborah Solomon’s biography and admire his art, so this will give me a chance to delve into his films, of which I’ve seen just one, Rose Hobart.