Avant-garde film is a cinema of subversion, of sensual perversion filled with challenging, unruly images and ideas that are often messy, sublime and like life, complicated! Avant-garde film is also a cinema of counter-culture whose filmmakers are challenging the edges of social, artistic, intellectual and sexual acceptability. Not bound by the bottom line of corporate checkbooks and middle-brow gentility, avant-garde films challenge us to see, think and feel differently. Each film is a pipe cleaner for the mind clearing out sludge from years of watching the mind numbing conventions of shopping mall cinema and info-tainment TV.
The course explores the rich and varied history of films made by fine artists who use film and video as a highly personal and poetic medium as well as those who experiment with the perceptual and narrative elements of film form. Through lectures, weekly screenings at the PFA, writing, the making of short filmic artworks and talking to visiting artists, we sample from the garden of underground, personal, poetic, queer, abstract, surrealist and expanded cinemas, as well as feminist, animated, structural-materialist, found films, love films and smash-the-state films!