The Concept of Man—Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Tarkovsky’s Solaris

An artist’s cinematic world more or less creates a tunnel to his personality and ideas. The decisions an artist makes about the creation of the film universe are inextricably bound to his personal philosophy. In the cases of Kubrick and Tarkovsky, reality adheres to a set of radically personal visions and a highly stylized approach […]

Frans Zwrtjes Spectator film

Frans Zwartjes’ Spectator: Cinema As Voyeurism

Frans Zwartjes’ Spectator depicts seeing and its relation to cinema as an act of erotic voyeurism. While the McGurk effect established vision as the dominant sense over hearing, and Hollis Frampton’s Nostalgia examined the relation between sound and visuals, Spectator is about the very nature of cinematic observation and its sexuality—the film image as an object of […]

thorsten fleisch dromosphere

Thorsten Fleisch Interview About Film Authorship & Self-Reference

Despite his distinguishable cinematic style, experimental filmmaker Thorsten Fleisch doesn’t feel like he created his films. That doesn’t apply to all of my films, but most of them I really do feel that I didn’t create them, as they rely on processes that reflect a certain technique that I later refined […] in directions that […]

metaphors on vision stan brakhage

Metaphors on Vision By Stan Brakhage: The Quest to Overcome The Language of Seeing

Metaphors on Vision, published in 1963 by Stan Brakhage, establishes the ground for his film theory, and serves as a sort of guide for understanding the boldness of his cinema. Brakhage’s film experiments not only disobey the conventions of cinema, but also seek to create a new, purer film language.  In Metaphors on Vision, he […]

rafaela salvadori simply sandra

The Importance of The Opening Scene: An Interview with Simply Sandra Director John Joyner

  After thinking he has completed his short Simply Sandra, filmmaker John Joyner realized something was missing.  …It became apparent to me that the film wasn’t really complete. It needed an intense catalyst to draw the viewer in. So a year after our first round of filming we re-assembled and shot what is the now […]

Ian Leslie Necessary Lies Lecture

Watch Ian Leslie’s Necessary Lies: From Placebo to Politics, Your World Is a Lie

From the special effects of Only God Forgives to Charlie Kaufman’s observation that “movies lies a lot,” it becomes clear that, as Werner Herzog put it, cinema is “illusionist work.” For Michael Haneke, “film is 24 lies per second at the service of truth.” But the implications and applications of lies go well beyond art and define […]

Andrei Tarkovsky Interview on Filmmaking

Andrei Tarkovksy on Filmmaking: “Cinema Uses Your Life, Not Vise Versa”

From Werner Herzog you can always expect practical filmmaking advice along the lines of “If you want to do a film, steal a camera, steal raw stock.” And he actually did steal a camera from the Berlin Film School and used it to film his first 7 films—which only proves it is a great filmmaking approach. […]

Critical Mass Hollis Frampton experimental film

Hollis Frampton’s Critical Mass Analysis

While Lemon and Poetic Justice focused on visuals, Hollis Frampton’s Critical Mass employs both film sound and images and examines their relationship–an approach Frampton also used for (nostalgia). Unlike (nostalgia), however, which is entirely based on the asynchrony between hearing and vision, in Critical Mass sound provides the basic framework. Although the McGurck effect suggests vision is the dominant sense over hearing, Hollis […]

Charlie Kaufman on Scriptrwriting

Charlie Kaufman Interview on Scriptwriting & Why “Movies Lie a Lot”

That films lie becomes especially obvious behind the scenes where one can see all the special effects films like Only God Forgives use. That’s why filmmaker Werner Herzog said, “What we do as filmmakers is immaterial. It’s only a projection of light. […] It’s illusionist work.” Similarly, Michael Haneke said, “Film is 24 lies per second […]

Self-Obliteration Yayoi Kusama

Watch Yayoi Kusama’s Self-Obliteration: The Dissolve of Identity

Yayoi Kusama’s Self-Obliteration is a 1967 experimental film. If boxing paint onto canvas defines the work of fellow Japanese artist Ushio Shinohara’s, Yayoi Kusama’s art leitmotif is the polka dot. The artist uses polka dots to cover and conceal people, animals, the environment, and everything around. It is a metaphor of giving up identity, abolishing […]

Soviet Montage Theory Five Editing Methods

Watch: The Soviet Theory of Montage & Eisenstein’s Five Editing Methods

One of filmslie’s previous posts examined Sergei Eisenstein’s influential theory of montage and its idea of creating new meaning through film editing. From Chris Marker’s La Jetee which creates the illusion of movement through dissolves and fades to Paul Sharits’ Word Play which demonstrates how meaning can be created and destroyed, from Hollis Frampton’s Nostalgia which […]

Robert Bresson film Mouchette

Robert Bresson On Filmmaking Part Four “Notes on Cinematography”

The first part of’s coverage of Robert Bresson’s seminal book on cinema and film theory “Notes on Cinematography” examined some of the filmmaker’s thoughts on the difference between cinema and theater. Part two compiled eclectic quotes, including the memorable “Your film must resemble what you see on shutting your eyes. (You must be capable, at […]

Special Effects in Only God Forgives

How Films Lie: The Special Effects in Only God Forgives by Nicolas Winding Refn

Werner Herzog once said, “What we do as filmmakers is immaterial. It’s only a projection of light. […] It’s illusionist work.” Hollis Frampton similarly observed the physicality of cinema and defined film as “anything that may be put in a projector that will modulate the emerging beam of light. […] A film is a ribbon of […]

Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe documentary Les Blank

Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe Documentary by Les Blank

The German filmmaker Werner Herzog is one of the enigmatic figures of cinema. His movies are eerily outlandish and otherworldly, especially titles like Fata Morgana, Fitzcarraldo, and The Wild Blue Yonder. The director’s predilection and tendency for danger and eccentricity put him in jail during the filming of Fata Morgana, and on another occasion, someone […]

Ingmar Bergman Interview Persona

Ingmar Bergman Interview “Persona Saved My Life”

This is an old and odd interview Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman did at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. It is of very questionable quality in terms of cinematography, editing, and content, and somehow everything about it is vintage. Towards the end of the video, Bergman is interrupted midway through his sentence, only to be replaced […]

Louis Morton Passer Passer animation

Louis Morton Passer Passer Interview

Sound is one of the essential elements of filmmaking, although it may be less obvious than cinema’s visuals. This is partly because of the overriding effect human vision has over hearing, as depicted by the McGurk effect. But filmmakers recognize sound’s importance. For French New Wave director Robert Bresson, film sound should be strictly diegetic. In his […]

Paul Sharits Word Movie (1966)

Can You Decipher Paul Sharits’ Word Movie? How Film Editing Creates and Destroys Meaning

There muscular are responses several from ways the of simplest shaping reflex the to edges the of most a refined glass and aluminum complex surface… Paul Sharits’ Word Movie Are you a little bit confused by Paul Sharits’ Word Movie? The experimental Fluxus film is a creative illustration of Robert Bresson’s claim “An image must be […]

Hollis Frampton Carrots and Peas

Hollis Frampton’s Carrots and Peas: Reducing Cinema to Its Structure

In 1969, the same year Hollis Frampton made Lemon, the experimental director also released Carrots and Peas, a short film that shares obvious similarities with the more popular Lemon. Both films playfully examine the nature of cinema, but unlike the silent Lemon, Carrots and Peas deals with the relationship between cinema sound and image, a […]

Robert Bresson Film Sound and Music

Robert Bresson on Film Sound and Music: Part Three of “Notes On Cinematography”

Part one and two of’s coverage of Robert Bresson’s seminal cinema book “Notes on Cinematography” examined some of  Bresson’s favorite topics–the differences between cinema and theater, the meaning film images acquire through editing, and the cinematic representation of reality. Part three will delve into Bresson’s thoughts on film music and sound, which are particularly […]

Bartek Konopka Rabbit á la Berlin analysis

Rabbit á la Berlin (Mauerhase) by Bartek Konopka: the Berlin Wall through Rabbits’ Perspective

Bartek Konopka’s Rabbit á la Berlin (Mauerhase) is a tongue-in-cheek allegory on post-WW2 in Germany. The 40-minute short blurs the boundaries between documentary and fiction (just like Stories We Tell and Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?)—it is unrealistically serious and blatantly sarcastic at the same time. In this aspect, the movie reminds of […]