Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film

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Pip Chodorov allows us exclusive access to his personal friendship circle in this fun educational documentary about the elder statesmen of the modern avant-garde film movement. Starting with Chodorov’s own induction in to this extremely exclusive clique, it revolves around interviews with luminaries such as Robert Breer, Jonas Mekas, Ken Jacobs and Peter Kubelka, and there are even entire shorts spliced in from the likes of Len Lye and Stan Brakhage to give a handle on the material in question. Despite the vitality displayed in the work itself, the film presents these filmmakers as generally a rather sour bunch, lamenting the lack of arts funding that allows them to carry out their work, while also airing their violent abhorrence towards anything regarded as mainstream. Still, a very lively portrait of innovators at work.

By: David Jenkins

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