Lawrence Jordan – Man is in pain (1954)

Quote:
San Francisco based filmmaker Lawrence Jordan’s 1954 short follows his hand, gesturing through a house of mirrors, cards and paintings of women. Shot in black-and-white and playfully incorporating direct animation, enhancing the photographed image by scratching and etching directly on the film. A woman reads Philip Lamantia’s poem (from which the film gets its title), a choice, which evokes masculine angst as the hand acts out the scenario of the poem. – Stela Jelincic Continue reading

Larry Jordan – Trumpit (1956)

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Quote:
Lawrence Jordan shot TRUMPIT in the basement of a house on Baker Street in San Francisco that he shared with Stan Brakhage in the mid-1950s. Brakhage himself stars in the film (along with Yvonne Fair). Featuring a card game played on the body of a naked woman, Jordan portrays male sexual frustration while slyly satirizing Hollywood reaction shots. Beat poet and filmmaker Christopher Maclaine provides the soundtrack of voice and manipulated instruments. TRUMPIT is a charming, youthful example of the American avant-garde. – Stela Jelincic Continue reading

Christopher Maclaine – Beat (1958)

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Quote:
“Maclaine’s next film, Beat (1958), might be thought of as a continuation of The Man Who Invented Gold, since it often cuts back and forth between shots of golden lamps, lights in windows, and gold-colored objects, often situated in the direct center of the frame (in fact, golden lights show up prominently near the close of the fifth section of The End as well). Otherwise, Beat is something of a portrait of the bohemian characters of late-1950s San Francisco, made just as the scene was disintegrating into mass-marketed national media consciousness and North Beach became the tourist’s emblem of the Beat Generation. Once again, Maclaine’s editing technique positively sparkles. Continue reading

Erik Løchen – Jakten AKA The Chasers AKA The Hunt (1959)

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Synopsis:
This is a film about the eternal triangle – two men – one woman. Bjørn is married to Guri and Knut is their mutual friend. Knut is the younger, dominated by his strong friend. They leave for a hunting-trip in the autumn and the drama develops between them – they shall fight about Guri. Continue reading

Kurt Hoffmann – Das fliegende Klassenzimmer AKA The Flying Classroom (1954)

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Synopsis:
All is not really well between the boys of Gymnasium and the boys of the six-form High School: sparks fly when they get within 100m of each other! The continuous feud between the pupils is only one of the pleasant alternations, which life brings into the everyday school life. In addition, there are the rehearsals for the school theatre; and there are the secrets around a teacher called ‘Justus’ and a man called ‘Nichtraucher’ or the “non-smoker” since he lives in an abandoned non-smoking railway carriage. Moreover, in between all the exciting surprises, a few serious things remain to be done… Continue reading

José Antonio Nieves Conde – Surcos AKA Furrows (1951)

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Quote:
At the end of the Spanish Civil War, a working-class family that migrates from rural Spain to Madrid in the hopes of finding a better life, and their hopes are thwarted by Don Roque, the personfication of the oppressive social forces at work in the Madrid of the 1940s. Continue reading

Christopher Maclaine – Scotch Hop (1959)

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The wonderful Scotch Hop (1959) [ imdb says 1953] is something of a letdown only after seeing his first two staggering, shattering masterpieces. In that film Maclaine intercuts a small band of bagpipers with other scenes, making some costumed young women appear to dance to the bagpipes’ rhythms. Scotch Hop is animated by a tension between synchronicity and asynchronicity — the rhythms of the images and the music converge, then diverge. Each image feels as if it were perched on a knife-edge between a world of smooth, lyrical dance and a world about to be torn apart. Continue reading