DER Documentary

Screening Room with Hollis Frampton

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From the Screening Room series
by Robert Gardner
color, 74 min, 1977/2006

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This DVD is also available as part of the Screening Room series Experimental Collection.

A major figure in the American experimental film movement of the 1960s and ‘70s and a widely published theorist, Hollis Frampton made such acclaimed and influential films as Zorns Lemma, the Hapax Legomena series, and the unfinished Magellan. Retrospectives of his work have been shown at the Walker Art Center, the Museum of Modern Art, and elsewhere. The journal October twice devoted whole issues to Frampton, and the entire bodyof his film work is preserved in the Royal Film Archive of Belgium. Frampton taught at Cooper Union, Hunter College, and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

In January 1977, Hollis Frampton appeared on Screening Room to discuss his work and screen:

  • Maxwell's Demon (excerpt, 3:34)
  • Surface Tension (excerpt, 5:34)
  • Lemon (full film with commentary, 4:44)
  • Critical Mass (excerpt, 3:04)
  • Pas De Trois (full film with commentary, 4:12)
  • • "Lumier Bits" (became Magellan) (footage, 14:38)

“Polymath of enormous cultural range and erudition, Hollis Frampton pursued both the analytic principles of modernist reflexivity and the synthesis from them of the encyclopedic meta-text of the kind that haunted his masters, Ezra Pound and Flaubert.” — David James, Allegories of Cinema

About the Screening Room series
In the early 1970s a group of idealistic artists, lawyers, doctors and teachers saw an opportunity to change commercial television in Boston and the surrounding area. It would require years of litigation up to and including the Supreme Court, but the case was won and the Channel 5 license was given to WCVB-TV. Screening Room was one of several programs offered in an effort to provide alternative television viewing. The idea behind Screening Room was to give independent filmmakers an opportunity to discuss their work and show it to a large urban audience. Nearly 100 ninety-minute programs were produced and aired between 1973 and 1980.

Screening Room was developed and hosted by filmmaker Robert Gardner, who at the time, was Director of Harvard's Visual Arts Center and Chairman of its Visual and Environmental Studies Department. His own films include Dead Birds (1964), and Forest of Bliss (1986).

Other films from the Screening Room series
Bruce Baillie
Les Blank
Robert Breer
James Broughton
Emile de Antonio
Ed Emshwiller
Robert Fulton
George Griffin
Hillary Harris
John & Faith Hubley
Peter Hutton
Derek Lamb
Standish Lawder & Stanley Cavell
Ricky Leacock
Caroline Leaf & Mary Beams
Jan Lenica
Alan Lomax
Jonas Mekas
Suzan Pitt
Yvonne Rainer
Richard P. Rogers
Jean Rouch
Michael Snow
John Whitney Sr.

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts