The concluding -- and personal favorite -- passage from that Andrew Noren / 
Scott MacDonald interview (in Critical Cinema 2) that Mr. Youngblood referred 
to earlier:

“The absolute best thing I’ve seen recently and certainly the most avant-garde 
was a lightning storm over southern New Jersey. It was so spectacular and 
sophisticated and surely one of the all-time great movies. It was incredibly 
powerful and intricate and intelligent and terrifying. It blasted us awake at 
two a.m. and we watched it through the black frame of the back door: vivid, 
intense, electric presentation of every last single detail of each bush, tree, 
leaf-of-grass. Vibrating out of absolute blackness in blinding, blue-white 
light, figure and ground switching places several times a second. Violent 
dimensional collisions, macroscopic magnification of the smallest things. Then 
everything vanishing into blackness so intense that the after-images were 
almost as strong as the original. And sound! Earth-shattering contrapuntal 
booms and blasts of such power I was sure the house would be blown away. I wish 
I could begin to describe it. It was wonderful, and as avant-garde is it gets. 
We were enchanted.”



From: FrameWorks <> on behalf of Steve 
Polta <>
Sent: Monday, May 25, 2015 12:16 PM
To: Experimental Film Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Frameworks] Andrew Noren

Yes. Noren was an amazing filmmaker with an incredible body of work that threw 
done some serious aesthetic challenges and expressed, in purely visual terms, a 
very complex aesthetics-based philosophy that to me is incredibly deep and 
profound and still shakes me up to think about. I posted the following to 
facebook and paste it here too...

Today I learned that the great filmmaker Andrew Noren died a few weeks ago from 
cancer, age 72 (I think). For those who don't know, Noren's films were among 
the most visually intense and overwhelming films ever created. Noren was a 
master 16mm photographer, a master of capturing motion and a master of 16mm 
black & white (I never had the opportunity to see his color films but I'm told 
they were amazing as well). Noren's films tended to be long-form (30+ minutes) 
and were (the ones I've seen) relentless barrages of imagery—very fast cutting, 
incredible single-framing and time lapse—that only would pause for the briefest 
of moments. Generally (the films I've seen) shot in cities during the course of 
daily life, the films emphasize the passing of time and—in their speed and 
Noren's uncanny way of rendering solid forms as fragile and ephemeral—seem to 
be constantly concerned with not only passing time but the brevity of life. By 
the time I came to film, Noren—a contemporary and filmmaker-in-dialog-with 
Brakhage, Dorsky, Gehr and all those guys—had largely withdrawn his films from 
distribution and had done the (probably deliberate, although I don't know) slow 
fade into relative obscurity. Each rare screening of Noren's aggressive (if 
overwhelming) films was an occasion for ones personal sense of visuality (as 
well as filmmaking and film history) to be altered permanently, and for the 
better, in that these films feel like wake-up call jolts to the senses and made 
you feel exhileratingly alive (albeit in intense ways—given that they 
stressed—to me—the brevity of life and the non-reality of the physical world, 
they also really shook me up in ways that few other films have). His earlier 
films (which I've not seen) were attempts to document all aspects of his life 
on film and were—this is documented—the direct inspiration for DAVID HOLZMAN'S 
DIARY. It's really too bad that his films didn't screen more often but in later 
years Noren—a classic, intensely opinionated curmudgeonly filmmaker—did not 
make it easy. I was really glad to have seen him in person (and meet him 
briefly) at Pacific Film Archive in 2005 and to have screened IMAGINARY LIGHT, 
via San Francisco 
Cinematheque<>, at SFMOMA in 

On Mon, May 25, 2015 at 9:42 AM, 
<<>> wrote:
I can understand that. There was a moment in the early 2000s when Susan
Oxtoby brought some of his films (and him) to Toronto over the course of a
few years. I likely saw about 4 or 5 of his films over that period and
still think of them often. A quick description --- rich high-contrast
imagery, long point-of-view shots down pathways and evocative time lapses
of domestic spaces -- doesn't do them justice; there was something
especially stunning about the experience.


> Those of us who were there at the time can recall the excitement when a
> new film by Andrew was released. We anticipated them almost like we did
> the next Brakhage or Godard.

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