How to Jump the Paris Metro: A Witty, Rebellious Primer from New Wave Director Luc Moullet (1984)

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Luc Moullet, a French New Wave filmmaker and long-time critic for the Cahiers du cinéma, makes films “known for their humor, anti-authoritarian leanings and rigorously primitive aesthetic.” Case in point, the 1984 short film Barres, which comically documents the best ways to jump the Paris metro.

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81-Year-Old Professor Charlie Warner Goes to Burning Man: A Short Documentary (NSFW)

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Charlie Warner. He’s an 81-year-old media professor and former media executive from New York. He’s had bone marrow cancer. (It’s now in remission.) He had open-heart surgery. He still has diabetes. And yet he made the journey to the Burning Man festival, in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, to experience something transcendent.

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Eight Free Films by Dziga Vertov, Creator of Soviet Avant-Garde Documentaries

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Has any filmmaker, of any era, had more influence on documentaries than Dziga Vertov? We know the early 20th-century Soviet cinema theorist and director of avant-garde non-fiction films has a place high in the documentary pantheon by virtue of his 1929 Man with a Movie Camera alone.

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Derek Jarman’s Jubilee: “It’s the Best Film about Punk” (1978)

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Derek Jarman was too old and too accomplished to be a punk.

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Georges Bataille: An Introduction to The Radical Philosopher’s Life & Thought Through Film and eTexts

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Charles Baudelaire’s decadent visions pushed the Victorian cult of beauty toward modernism, Henry Miller’s lurid epics pushed a then staid modernism toward anarchic beat writing, and Georges Bataille and the surrealists of his arts journal Documents gave us much of the culture we have today, call it what you will if postmodern is too passé.

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Watch Humorous Phases of Funny Faces, the First Animated Movie (1906)

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August and Louis Lumière might have made the first film – a simple, static shot of workers leaving their factory for the day – but George Méliès invented the art form of cinema. Through his experiments, Méliès discovered that magic happened when he turned the camera off and on. People suddenly disappeared into thin air.

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Kafka’s Parable “Before the Law” Narrated by Orson Welles & Illustrated with Great Pinscreen Art

≡ Category: Animation, Film, Literature |1 Comment

On Friday, we featured Nikolai Gogol’s “The Nose,” adapted in 1963 through the work-intensive but aesthetically stunning means of “pinscreen animation” by Alexander Alexeieff and Claire Parker.

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A Little Chaos: A Short Crime Film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Enfant Terrible of New German Cinema

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If you ever want to feel like you have been wasting your life, look to the short but spectacularly productive life of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Within fifteen years – the span of his professional career –Fassbinder cranked out 40, count ‘em 40, feature films. That’s roughly 3 movies a year. But that’s not all.

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Before The Simpsons: Homer Groening Directs a 1969 Short Film, The Story, Starring His Kids Maggie, Lisa & Matt

≡ Category: Animation, Film |1 Comment

The Story (1969) is a cute short film about two kids, Matt and Lisa, telling their younger sister Maggie a bedtime story about meeting some animals, and an alien, in the woods. You can watch it above. The Matt in this film is none other than Matt Groening, who would go on to create The Simpsons. Their dad, Homer, made the movie.

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Derek Jarman Creates Pioneering Music Videos for The Smiths, Marianne Faithfull & the Pet Shop Boys

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Today we think of music videos, perhaps quaintly and not always correctly, as the cradle of modern Hollywood’s sense-overloading, logic-sacrificing, teen-targeting, “quick-cut” style. But the medium, especially in its formative years, offered a wide-open canvas not just to hacks, but to auteurs as well.

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