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Films About Films

Films About Films

MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA

Dziga Vertov Soviet Union, 1929

Dziga Vertov’s masterpiece remains a visually thrilling chronicle of modern life, and an ode to the power of film. A lucid mixture of documentary and avant-garde techniques, it’s a radical redefinition of cinema’s boundaries—essential viewing that is just as groundbreaking many years later.

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LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF

Thom Andersen United States, 2003

Both a moving homage to his adopted hometown and an insightful work of film criticism, essayist and professor Thom Andersen has made a wide-ranging epic that explores how the City of Angels has been used in TV and cinema in the 20th century. Featuring clips from more than 200 LA-set films!

OUTER SPACE

Peter Tscherkassky Austria, 1999

A key film from the Austrian avant-garde, Outer Space re-appropriates footage from Sidney J. Furie’s The Entity into a maelstrom of images—a destruction of narrative norms, and an outright violation of traditional cinematic space.

VHS MASSACRE: CULT FILMS AND THE DECLINE OF PHYSICAL MEDIA

Kenneth Powell, Thomas Edward Seymour United States, 2015

Produced by iconic American production company Troma, this documentary is focused on the demise of physical media, an integral part of genre cinema. An incisive investigation into a monumental shift for both the industry and medium, the film features many icons from a vital era of independent film.

EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE, ZOOPRAXOGRAPHER

Thom Andersen United States, 1975

From Los Angeles Plays Itself director (and renowned teacher) Thom Andersen comes this biographical essay film on the pioneering photographer Eadweard Muybridge. Andersen literally re-animates Muybridge’s trailblazing experiments in motion studies while confronting his anguished personal life.

ART HISTORY

Joe Swanberg United States, 2011

Mumblecore director Joe Swanberg’s Art History is a filmic act of self-reflection, starring Josephine Decker! The enclosed space and suffocating atmosphere of a film shoot allows Swanberg to comment on the troubling and affecting nature of acting in film, and to react against his detractors.

THE ENDLESS FILM

Leandro Listorti Argentina, 2018

Made from the remains of never-completed Argentine features, La Película Infinita is, as it were, a parallel film history: an essay like a cinematographic Frankenstein, that blows new life into images that once seemed unsuccessful and pointless.

WHEN EVENING FALLS ON BUCHAREST OR METABOLISM

Corneliu Porumboiu Romania, 2013

Romanian New Wave director Corneliu Porumboiu turns his hilarious deadpan style to a behind-the-scenes look at moviemaking in Bucharest. This duet (or is it a duel?) between a director and actress is a clever self-critique about what matters in cinema, as well as a withering satire of masculine ego.