Synopsis by Mark Deming
It wasn't more than a couple decades after the invention of motion pictures that a number of artists began embracing cinema as a medium of creative expression, rather than just a tool for narrative storytelling or recording events. In the 1920s, European artists influenced by the abstract and surrealist movements began making films that applied a new visual and philosophical perspective to the moving image, and after World War II the experimental film movement began to grow in the United States, as directors such as Stan Brakhage, Ken Jacobs, Jonas Mekas and Robert Breer created works that attracted the attention of adventurous cineastes. Pip Chodorov was raised by parents who were passionate followers of experimental cinema and became friends with some of the leading underground filmmakers of the day; his documentary Free Radicals: A Story of Experimental Film offers a look into the history of experimental filmmaking, including interviews with some of the key figures in the movement (including the last interview Brakhage would ever give) and lengthy excerpts from a handful of key films. Free Radicals was an official selection at the American Film Institute's 2010 AFI Fest.
avant-garde, cinema, experimental [arts], film-director, filmmaker, history