Refracting Lumière

Avant-Garde Revisions of the Lumière Brothers
4 films
Four films from the 1970s that return to the films of Auguste and Louis Lumière, revisiting film history as a way of reframing our understanding of the cinematic.

Films

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    After Lumiere—L'Arroseur Arrose
    Experimental
    Narrative

    After Lumiere—L'Arroseur Arrose
    Malcolm LeGrice

    16mm, color, sound, 13.5 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • Films About Film
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    Loose Ends
    Experimental

    Loose Ends
    Chick Strand

    16mm, black and white, sound, 25 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • Cameraless / Handmade
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    Drafts & Fragments  Straits of Magellan
    Experimental

    Drafts & Fragments Straits of Magellan
    Hollis Frampton

    16mm, color, silent, 51.25 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • History
    • Films About Film
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    Demolition of a Wall
    Experimental

    Demolition of a Wall
    Bill Brand

    16mm, black and white, sound, 27 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • Films About Film
    • Structural

Description

Four films from the 1970s that return to the films of Auguste and Louis Lumière, revisiting film history as a way of reframing our understanding of the cinematic.

Cinema’s origins have held an enduring appeal for the avant-garde. In the act of returning to cinema’s earliest productions, experimental filmmakers from different eras and regions have discovered a highly flexible and productive artistic gesture. Such returns facilitate interrogations of film history as well as efforts to renew film form or criticize modern media cultures. At their most fruitful, they question the terms of avant-garde film practice itself.

The films of the Lumière brothers have lent themselves especially well to such endeavors. As a series of screenings produced at film venues such as Cornell Cinema, Mad Stork Cinema, and MoMA PS1 have demonstrated, remakes and revisions of works by the Lumières constitute a veritable sub-genre of avant-garde film: a common form through which highly disparate practitioners have repeatedly reframed our understanding of the cinematic, positioning our filmic present in relation to films past.

“Refracting Lumière” presents a highly distinctive subset of experimental films that re-stage, re-situate, or re-purpose filmic scenarios initiated by the Lumières. The program focuses on works from the Coop's collection that were produced in the 1970s, a decade of experimental film practice characterized by sustained inquiries into cinematic specificity, as well as innovative contributions to narrative, found footage, and diaristic film forms. Works exemplifying these tendencies by Malcolm Le Grice, Chick Strand, Hollis Frampton, and Bill Brand are included on the bill.

Curated by Josh Guilford. Originally screened at Union Docs in conjunction with "Staging Encounters," an intensive workshop on film curation.