Five American Experimental Films (1952-57)
Four of the films in this collection arrived after the release of the much larger anthology Masterworks of the American Avant-garde Experimental Film, 1920-1970 had gone to press; they are such beautiful and extraordinary works that deserve to be seen after decades of unavailability. All are brilliant and true color copies mastered in high definition from original Kodachrome master copies or camera films.
Abstract in Concrete (1952) - 10 min. (no IMDb link)
John Arvonio shot footage for this stunning pattern film of New York City at night over a five-year period. The music by Frank Fields is a movement of his 1931 suite Times Square Silhouette. Although it was quite successful and widely shown in the 1950s, Arvonio never released another film.
Analogies #1 and Color Dance #1 (1952-53) - 19 min. (no IMDb link)
Analogies #1 and Color Dance #1 are both by Jim Davis (1952-53). Painter, sculptor and a major figure in ‘50’s avant-garde film, Davis is represented in the Masterworks anthology by Evolution. “Abstract and mysterious to many spectators, these waves and studies of light were for Davis images if the causative forces of nature.” – ReVoir
Treadle and Bobbin (1954) - 8 min.
The Singer treadle sewing machine stars in this rhythmic and imaginatively photographed work. “A distinguished visual analysis of moving parts, well exploited for beauty and interest and notable for its fresh observation.” – Melbourne (Australia) Int’l Film Festival. Galentine collaborated with other major independent filmmakers of the period including Francis Thompson, Shirley Clarke and Alexander Hammid, but this is his only released solo work.
N.Y., N.Y. (1957) - 15 min.
Thompson shot the vibrant fractured images with a Kodak Ciné-Special camera specially rigged with “secret” mirrors, kaleidoscopes and even reflective car hubcaps. The experience remains an exquisite time capsule that not only documents Manhattan during the 1950s but also, in the words of the New York Times, proffers “one of the few genuine mas¬terpieces” of the burgeoning experimental film movement in the United States.