PRINT September 1971

“Zorns Lemma”

SINCE ITS BEGINNINGS IN THE 1940S, American experimental film has had, as a body of work, a fundamentally evocative intent. A primary concern was the recognition of how central the preconscious and irrational level of experience is to all human behavior. Like poetry, these films attempted to appeal directly, by means of potent imagery and rhythmic structure, to our emotions (i.e. our irrational and too often subconscious level of experience). The filmmakers were eager to explore how experience is constructed, how in fact the various levels of our minds interact in any given set of circumstances.

Their investigations fell more or less under the label of Surrealism, either lyrical (Deren, Broughton, early Brakhage) or epic (Anger, Markopoulos, later Brakhage). Labels notwithstanding, these films did share with Surrealism a fundamentally psychological concern. The nature of experience for

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