Malcolm Le Grice

Castle 1; Berlin Horse

UK

Voted in the directors’ poll

Voted for

2 minutes 45 seconds

William Raban

Condition of Illusion

1975

Peter Gidal

Dog Star Man

1964

Stan Brakhage

Flaming Creatures

1963

Jack Smith

Kiss Me Kate

1953

George Sydney

Man with a Movie Camera

1929

Dziga Vertov

Roh-Film

1968

Birgit and Willhelm Hein

Some Like It Hot

1959

Billy Wilder

TV

1967

Kurt Kren

Wavelength

1967

Michael Snow

Comments

Four hours or so, The Art of Vision is the first great innovation in the form of the personal – first-person – subjective cinema. In art history it belongs with Jackson Pollock and the American Abstract Expressionists – though the art establishment has still not caught up with this.

A milestone in the so called Structuralist cinema, Wavelength is a great experience at any level in cinema. After years of viewing, it’s still as good as ever.

An austere beautiful work – testing and rewarding – Condition of Illusion is the cinema equivalent of Sam Beckett from the film-artist who invented ‘Structural Materialism’.

TV is a wonderful short, simple work using a structured system of single short sequences. An image puzzle but not a puzzle. An absolutely key work of the European experimental cinema.

Only two Hollywood movies make it into my list. Both escape the standard American combination of violence and sentimentality. In Kiss Me Kate the colour is sumptuous – and Shakespeare would have been proud of the language and dialogue. It was originally shot in 3D – sadly I have never seen this version.

Flaming Creatures is THE Underground film, a poetic and crazy revolution in lifestyle, gender – and an absolutely essential antidote to the boring history of narrative cinema.

Roh-Film is raw (roh) film collaged – together with my own Castle 1, the punkest of punk films made in 1968 – before the exponents of punk were out of primary school?– Billy Wilder No justification needed for Some Like It Hot, as it will appear in dozens of ‘desert-island film’ lists. Sheer entertainment and great lines.

2 Minutes 45 Seconds is the first, best and wittiest film combining live performance, live film recording and re-presentation.

No great justification needed for Man with a Movie Camera either – it’s the first film that explores a parallel matrix concept (even if Vertov could not have described it that way) prefiguring digital and interactive forms.

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