Avant Garde Film

Written on December 8, 2010 – 2:11 am | by jwolpoe

I was especially excited about the Avant Garde section of the screenings, because it’s not a type of film that I will probably seek out for myself. And it’s not really a type of film I enjoy more than others – I really like have a definite storyline in my films, and avant garde will probably be something I watch mostly for the sake of saying I watched it, or to analyze it, but certainly not for fun.

But avant garde film raises the really fascinating question of different mediums and how we use them or perceive their use. We expect films to be a certain way – of a certain length, and style, with a story and actors and with other expected elements. But…why?

When I think about avant garde film, I think about paintings. Paintings are a totally different medium, with different limitations, yes, but completely different expectations. When looking at a painting in a museum, you are looking at Art. It doesn’t have to tell a story, or be about anything in particular. It’s about the brushstroke, and the lighting and arrangement. Critics will analyze the style and aesthetic, and will compare it to other paintings based on that. Some don’t even get titles, just dates.

And that’s how I see avant garde films – we’re not looking for a story, we’re looking for a style, lighting, texture and effect. It’s films that belong in museums, instead of being taken home to read. It’s not my cup of tea, but I like the occasional museum visit. I enjoy paintings and statues and all sorts of other art forms without expecting Monet to tell me a story complete with characters, setting and plot. The paintings can be beautiful without them, and so can film.

(Of course, I was always the person who spent time examining the biblical paintings, because those were attached to stories, even if the painter didn’t have to write them. But that’s just me.)

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  1. One Response to “Avant Garde Film”

  2.   By kevinvelez on Dec 9, 2010 | Reply

    howdy, well where to begin! I must say that I like your way of thinking to say the least. Now I don’t think that art should tell a story, however I feel that it needs to express the artist’s emotions in a way that we see into them, others and/or ourselves. How its done(brush strokes, camera angle, etc.) should be able to compliment the emotions. I’m not an art buff so I don’t really have a background in art(I enjoy the occasional museum as you though). With Mothlight, I felt nothing from it and had no idea what it was representing(only when told). And again, this is just me and my understanding of it but I’m interested in others’ opinions.

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