In the world of experimental, avant-garde and hand made film, Pip Chodorov’s presence and voice, as facilitator, organizer and standard-bearer cannot be over exaggerated. He’s an absolute dynamo. Originator of THE indispensible Frameworks mailing list, founder of Re:Voir distribution and Film Gallery, co-founder of L'Abominable film lab in Paris and asides from all of this, a great, great film maker. Tonight Pip will screen Free Radicals, his phenomenal history of experimental film. You’ll be ravenous for more. You’ll want to make films yourself and the best thing is that you can! You can do it at WORM.
Filmmaker and film activist Pip Chodorov offers this affectionate overview of some of the leading figures of 20th century experimental film. Narrating in a personal and plainspoken manner (“I’d like you to meet some of my friends and see their films”), Chodorov combines clips and even films in their entirety with conversations with such luminaries as Hans Richter, Robert Breer, Michael Snow, Peter Kubelka and Stan Brakhage in his final recorded interview.
The film, which takes its title from Len Lye’s direct animation classic, shows how avant-garde filmmakers were often left in a no man’s land between the art world and the commercial film industry. It was up to visionaries like Jonas Mekas and the organizations he founded — Film-Makers’ Cooperative, Anthology Film Archive — to help struggling filmmakers out. (At one point, Ken Jacobs describes dumpster diving for food.) Warm and inspiring, Chodorov’s film is part essay and part loving tribute. –AFI Film Festival
Free Radicals includes examples of films in their full, often stunning entirety, featuring amongst others: Robert Breer’s Recreation, Brakhage’s Existence is Song and of course the film that gives the documentary its title: Len Lye’s Free Radicals.