Robert Kramer – Sous le vent AKA Leeward (1991)


The film is part of the television series “La culture en chantiers” (“Culture under Construction”). In the form of a video letter, this film goes up the Seine. Starting with the traces of the Normandy landing of the Americans, it ends in Paris in Jean Genet’s hotel room. It is a voyage made to meditate on the “state of things” in a clear and melancholy way—the mutations in cinema and the media in the year of the Gulf War, in the company of Serge Daney and others. Continue reading

Robert Kramer – Ice (1970)


A pioneering work that blurred the boundaries between fictional and documentary styles, Ice was hailed by filmmaker and Village Voice critic Jonas Mekas as “the most original and most significant American narrative film” of the late sixties. An underground revolutionary group struggles against internal strife which threatens its security and stages urban guerrilla attacks against a fictionalized fascist regime in the United States. Interspersed throughout the narrative are rhetorical sequences that explain the philosophy of radical action and serve to restrain the melodrama inherent in the “thriller” genre. (Harvard Film) Continue reading

Robert Kramer – Route One USA (1989)


From more than 65 hours of film footage, acclaimed American independent filmmaker
Robert Kramer crafted this epic portrait of the famous highway that runs from Maine
to Key West, Florida. Route One/USA shows how what was once the most traveled roadway
in the world has become, in the words of the filmmaker, “a thin stretch of asphalt
cutting through the dreams of a nation.” Continue reading

Robert Kramer – Milestones (1975)

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MILESTONES, Robert Kramer and John Douglas
US 1975, 3 hours and 15 minutes, 16mm, B/W and color

This epic film represents an essential landmark within the political, intellectual and artistic entreprise of the 60’s and 70’s, following the Vietnam War. Milestones cuts back and forth between different story lines and features over fifty different characters, from Vietnam veterans to ex-convicts, parents and kids, native americans…. In 3 hours and 15 minutes, Kramer and Douglas expose the ‘tribe’ where all the alternatives of this generation are experimented. The film questions these experimentations’s success and failures, as well as the directing methods of Newsreel cinema. In 1976, Serge Toubiana wrote in Les Cahiers du Cinema: “If in Milestones one deals with new relationships between human beings and with a new way of life which also integrates the vegetal world as well as the biological world, one also deals primarly with cinema, with a new form of cinema, as if Hollywood would not exist. Kramer and Douglas don’t make Milestones against Hollywood, they shoot as if Hollywood doesn’t exist.” Continue reading