Chris Langdon's film work (1973-76) is crucial in this regard - it was a very
concerted attempt on her part to bring aspects of supposedly lowbrow culture
and humor into the supposedly highbrow form of art/film. She even made
grindhouse-style trailers (about 8-10 total) for some of her films, which
themselves were only 3 minutes (and sometimes single takes) to begin with.
Mike Henderson is a painter and blues musician who also made about two dozen
16mm films between 1969 and 1985. His painting and music background strongly
inform his approach to filmmaking, and his films range from humorous and
anarchic performative works that sometimes touch on Black experience, nearly
abstract works that play on audience perception of what they're seeing/hearing,
and works that touch on the relationship between perception and meaning, which
incorporate narration, story and character elements, and play with the
structural conventions of cinema in a way that seems to me uniquely painterly.
Films like The Rocking Chair Film, Pitchfork and the Devil, How to Beat a Dead
Horse, and others...
Jessie Stead's work in general, with Poor Man's Puce Moment being a random but
fairly representative example of how she works with notions of high/low.
There's also a piece where she nails a cookie to the wall with tons of nails
over the course of an hour, which for me evokes Thom Andersen's Melting (1965),
another film that would be of interest, especially alongside Morgan Fisher's
very interesting text on it.
Speaking of Morgan, his film ( ) may be appropriate, a collection of insert
shots taken from mainly B-movies, arranged together, abstracted from their
original contexts as narrative elements to free them as individual objects of
intrinsic interest/beauty/etc. His long note on this film is fascinating.
John Smith's Associations (1975) pits a highly academic text on linguistic
theory against images that pun on the various words used in the text.
Pat O'Neill's work is rich with interminglings of this sort.
Dan McLaughlin's God is Dog Spelled Backwards (1963), though a whimsical and
jokey movie, takes as its concept "if you combine the world's greatest art with
the world's greatest music, you should produce the world's greatest film".
Probably significant as a historical reference point. Easy to see online.
I liked Steve Reinke's Beaver Skull Magick (2010), which I saw at FLEX a couple
of years ago. I don't know much of his other work, but he's probably an artist
worth looking at in this regard.
Wouldn't normally suggest my own stuff, but I have some work that speaks to
this area too, as it's something I'm definitely interested. (I feel dirty now.)
From: Brent Coughenour <coke...@aol.com>
To: Experimental Film Discussion List <email@example.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 9:49 AM
Subject: [Frameworks] Films/videos straddling high- and lowbrow divide
I'm interested in suggestions of films and videos that make an effort to occupy
the "dialectical gap" between so-called lowbrow and highbrow culture; in
particular, work that addresses both mainstream popular culture as well as more
esoteric academic or artistic history. I'm not thinking so much of work that is
situated firmly in one or the other camps and makes an allusion to the other,
but rather work that makes a pretty concerted effort to split the difference.
Cory Arcangel's work would be a good contemporary example. I'm particularly
interested in historical examples from the experimental film world and
suggestions of specific pieces. Also, if there's writing on this topic floating
around, lemme know!
FrameWorks mailing list
FrameWorks mailing list