Adriano Aprà

Film historian, festival and film director

Voted for

Limite1931Mário Peixoto
Traité de bave et d'éternité (Treatise on Venom and Eternity)1951Isidore Isou
The Chelsea Girls1966Andy Warhol
Scenes from Under Childhood I-IV1967-1970Stan Brakhage
Zorns Lemma1970Hollis Frampton
La Région Centrale1971Michael Snow
He Stands in a Desert Counting the Seconds of His Life1969-1985Jonas Mekas
Trying to Kiss the Moon1994Stephen Dwoskin
Film Ist 1-121998-2004Gustav Deutsch
Viaggio nel crepuscolo (Journey into the Dusk)2021Augusto Contento



1931 Brazil

A silent movie with added music rediscovered in the 70s. First and only film by the Brazilian modernist poet-writer.

Traité de bave et d'éternité (Treatise on Venom and Eternity)


Again, a first and only film by lettrist poet and theoretician Isou (a Romanian, born Isidor Goldstein), who influenced filmmaker-writers like Maurice Lemaître, Guy Debord and, in my opinion, Jean-Luc Godard too.

The Chelsea Girls

1966 USA

The expanded two-screens opus by the well-known filmmaker-painter.

Scenes from Under Childhood I-IV


Less well known than other masterpieces by the greatest experimental filmmaker.

Zorns Lemma

1970 USA

An example of structural cinema.

La Région Centrale

1971 Canada

Perhaps the only film of its kind. A work made by a machine?

He Stands in a Desert Counting the Seconds of His Life


An example of a diaristic film, or professional home movie, and a tribute to the founder of the New American Cinema.

Trying to Kiss the Moon

1994 United Kingdom

An autobiographical film by the American-born, London-based handicapped filmmaker.

Film Ist 1-12


An example of what I call critofilm: a critical audiovisual essay on cinema. I don't know if I can include also a sequel to Deutsch's series: A Girl and a Gun (2009). If so, please say Film Ist 1-12 + A Girl and the Gun or Film Ist, complete series (1998-2009).

Viaggio nel crepuscolo (Journey into the Dusk)


An example of what can be tentatively called 'quantistic cinema'.

Further remarks

I strongly disagree with your limitation to 10 titles, and I think that many people will agree with this opinion. Today, with the wide access we have to so many films of all times and countries, the result of your poll will be easily predictable: too many 'official' masterpieces. Therefore I limit myself to one category only, experimental films, further limited to only full-length films, in chronological order. I decided not to include directors already mentioned in my 2012 poll (Vertov, Godard, Dreyer – for him I would have selected Vampyr). I tried to mention as many countries as possible (Brazil, France, United States, Canada, England, Germany, Italy), leaving out, regretfully, other ones (Russia: Oleg Kovalov?, India: Amit Dutta?, Japan: Shūji Terayama? etc, etc).