The Experimenta Weekend is the BFI London Film Festival‘s annual survey of artist’s film and video. Over three days, from 21-23 October 2011, a unique sequence of programmes will offer a curated selection of outstanding work made around the world. This new independent website contains full details of the screenings and will be regularly updated with articles and additional information.
Phil Solomon, renowned for his exquisite 16mm films, will make his first appearance in the UK to introduce the epic American Falls. In a triptych of images, waves of chemically treated celluloid reflect the aspirations and tragedies of the American dream.
Two festival regulars return with debut features: Lewis Klahr’s elliptical narrative The Pettifogger further develops his distinctive cut-out animation techniques; Ben Rivers’ Two Years at Sea mixes fact and fantasy in an extended study of a marginal outsider. Observational filmmaker Robert Fenz and Portuguese artist Gabriel Abrantes are featured in solo screenings.
Contemporary moving image owes much to the pioneering generation of avant-garde filmmakers that appear in Pip Chodorov’s documentary Free Radicals. Jonas Mekas, a central figure in that movement’s history, will present two new works of his own: Sleepless Night Stories and Correspondence (in collaboration with José Luis Guerin). The visionary films of West Coast pioneer Chick Strand, which combine experimental, collage and ethnographic styles, can be rediscovered in newly preserved prints.
The Experimenta Weekend is curated by Mark Webber, with assistance from Adam Pugh and Marina Ribera.
Most of the Experimenta Weekend screenings are now repeated on subsequent weekdays. Outside the weekend programme, the festival also includes James Benning’s Twenty Cigarettes, plus new preservations of Roberto Rossellini’s The Machine That Kills Bad People and Nicholas Ray’s experimental project We Can’t Go Home Again.