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List of avant-garde films of the 1950s

This is a list of avant-garde and experimental films released in the 1950s. Unless noted, all films had sound and were in black and white.

Title Director Cast Nation Notes
1950
The Adventures of Jimmy James Broughton James Broughton United States Music by Weldon Kees.[1]
Un chant d'amour Jean Genet Java, André Reybaz France Genet's only film as a director
Eaten Horizons Wilhelm Freddie, Jørgen Roos France Surrealist film
Orphée Jean Cocteau Jean Marais France
Rabbit's Moon Kenneth Anger André Soubeyron, Claude Revenant France Color[2]
Swain Gregory Markopoulos, Robert C. Freeman, Jr. Gregory Markopoulos, Mary Zelles United States Based on Hawthorne's novel Fanshawe. Only a drastically shortened version exists; 24 minutes of 50[3][failed verification]
Tłum (The Crowd) Walerian Borowczyk Poland [4][failed verification]
1951
Divertissement Rococo Hy Hirsh United States Abstract animation[5]
Ensemble for Somnambulists Maya Deren Canada [6]
Images pour Debussy Jean Mitry France Visualization of music, semi-abstract water film.[7]
Le film est déja commence? Maurice Lemaître France Lettrist film[8]
Le mort du cerf Dimitri Kirsanoff France
A Treatise on Venom and Eternity Isidore Isou Isidore Isou France Lettrist film[8]
1952
L'anti-concept Gil J. Wolman France Lettrist film[8]
Approaches and Leavetakings Weldon Kees, Jurgen Ruesch United States [1]
Bells of Atlantis Ian Hugo Anaïs Nin United States Color. Semi-abstract images and electronic music by Bebe and Louis Barron accompany a reading by Nin from her 1936 novella House of Incest.[9]
Form Phases I Robert Breer United States Color, silent abstract animation.[10]
Hand-Mouth Coordination Weldon Kees, Gregory Bateson United States [1]
Hotel Apex Weldon Kees United States Study of the demolition of an old hotel[1]
Hurlements en faveur de Sade Guy Debord France Lettrist film
Interim Stan Brakhage United States Brakhage's first film, scored by James Tenney[11]
1953
The Boy and the Sea Stan Brakhage United States Silent, listed by Camper as "not available"[11]
Color Cry Len Lye United States Color, Drawn-on-film animation, music by Sonny Terry[12]
Come Closer Hy Hirsh United States Color, abstract animation in 3-D[5]
Eaux d'Artifice Kenneth Anger Carmilla Salvatorelli Italy Color, added to the National Film Registry in 1993[13]
The End Christopher Maclaine United States Early Beat generation film[14]
Eneri Hy Hirsh United States Abstract animation, color.[5]
Form Phases II Robert Breer United States Color, silent abstract animation.[10]
Mandala Jordan Belson United States Abstract animation, color[15]
The Pleasure Garden James Broughton Lindsay Anderson, Hattie Jacques, John Le Mesurier United Kingdom
Statues Also Die Chris Marker, Alain Resnais France
Unglassed Windows Cast a Terrible Reflection Stan Brakhage United States Silent, listed by Camper as "not available"[11]
1954
Desistfilm Stan Brakhage United States [11]
The Extraordinary Child Stan Brakhage United States Listed by Camper as "not available"[11]
Form Phases IV Robert Breer United States Color, silent abstract animation.[10]
Gyromorphosis Hy Hirsh Netherlands Abstract animation[5]
Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome Kenneth Anger Samson de Brier, Anaïs Nin United States Color, edited into at least three distinct versions[16]
Un Miracle Robert Breer, Pontus Hultén United States Color, collage animation.[10]
The Way to Shadow Garden Stan Brakhage United States [11]
1955
Atelier de Fernand Léger Walerian Borowczyk Poland Filmed at Fernand Léger's studio in Paris[4]
Aviary Joseph Cornell United States Silent[17]
The Bridge William Heick Weldon Kees United States Poetic study, based on Hart Crane[1]
Closed Vision Marc'O. France Lettrist film[8]
Dementia, aka Daughter of Horror John Parker Adrienne Barrett, Bruno VeSota United States Essentially silent psychological horror film, music by George Antheil[18]
Une femme coquette Jean-Luc Godard Maria Lysandre, Roland Tolma France
Haitian Film Footage Maya Deren Haiti Begun in 1947; later posthumously edited into The Divine Horsemen[19]
In Between Stan Brakhage United States Color, music by John Cage[11]
Jesień (Autumn) Walerian Borowczyk Poland Animation[4]
Joanne, Union Square Joseph Cornell United States Silent[17]
Joanne, Xmas Joseph Cornell United States Silent[17]
Mosaik im Vertrauen (Mosaic in Confidence) Peter Kubelka Austria Written by Ferry Radax[20]
A Portrait of Ga Margaret Tait United Kingdom
Orchard Street Ken Jacobs United States Color, silent[21]
Reflections Madeline Tourtelot United States Color, two distinct versions[22]
Reflections on Black Stan Brakhage United States [11]
Sunday in Peking Chris Marker France
Untitled film of Geoffrey Holder’s Wedding Stan Brakhage, Larry Jordan United States [11]
The Very Eye of Night Maya Deren United States Dance film, choreographed by Antony Tudor[19]
The Wonder Ring Stan Brakhage United States Color, silent[11]
Żywe fotografie (Photographies Vivantes) Walerian Borowczyk Poland Animation[4]
1956
Centuries of June Stan Brakhage, Joseph Cornell United States Color, silent[11]
Flesh of Morning Stan Brakhage United States Revised in 1986[11]
Little Cobra Dance Ken Jacobs Jack Smith United States
Nightcats Stan Brakhage United States Color, silent[11]
Recreation Robert Breer Noël Burch United States Color, semi-abstract animation with narration.[10]
Saturday Afternoon Blood Sacrifice Ken Jacobs Jack Smith United States
Together Lorenza Mazzetti, Denis Horne Eduardo Paolozzi, Michael Andrews United Kingdom Experimental semi-documentary[23]
Zone Moment Stan Brakhage United States Color, silent[11]
1957
8 x 8: A Chess Sonata in 8 Movements Jean Cocteau, Marcel Duchamp, Hans Richter United States
A to Z Michael Snow Canada "Blue and white" color, silent[24][25][26]
Adebar Peter Kubelka Austria Early structural — or in Kubelka's terms, "metric" — film[27]
Adventures of * John Hubley, Faith Hubley United States Color, music score by Benny Carter. Semi-abstract animation.[28][29]
Angel Joseph Cornell United States Color[17]
Był sobie raz (Once Upon a Time) Jan Lenica, Walerian Borowczyk Poland Cut-out animation[30]
Boy's Games Joseph Cornell United States Silent[17]
Cappuccino Joseph Cornell United States [17]
Children Joseph Cornell United States Silent[17]
Cloche a Travers les Feuilles/Claude Debussy Joseph Cornell United States Revised version of Nymphlight[17]
Daybreak and Whiteye Stan Brakhage United States [11]
Dni Oświaty (Education Days) Jan Lenica, Walerian Borowczyk Poland Animation[4]
A Fable for Fountains Joseph Cornell, Rudolph Buckhardt United States Begun in 1955; revised as "A Legend for Fountains" in 1965[17]
Glimpse of the Garden Marie Menken United States Selected for addition to the National Film Registry in 2007[31]
Nagrodzone uczucia (Requited Sentiments) Jan Lenica, Walerian Borowczyk Poland Animation[30]
Jamestown Baloos Robert Breer United States Color, semi-abstract combination of animation and live action.[10]
Loving Stan Brakhage Carolee Schneemann, James Tenney United States Color, silent[11]
Strep-tease (Striptease) Jan Lenica, Walerian Borowczyk Poland Animation[30]
A Man and His Dog Out for Air Robert Breer United States Abstract animation, shown with Last Year at Marienbad in its first New York run.[10]
The Man Who Invented Gold Christopher Maclaine United States Partly filmed by Jordan Belson[32]
Nymphlight Joseph Cornell United States Color[17]
1958
Anticipation of the Night Stan Brakhage United States [33]
Beat Christopher Maclaine United States [32]
Broadway by Light William Klein France, United States
Défense d'afficher Hy Hirsh France Color[5]
Dom (House) Jan Lenica, Walerian Borowczyk Poland Animation; Winner of 1958 Belgium International Experimental Film Competition[30]
Free Radicals Len Lye United Kingdom
Une histoire d'eau Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut Caroline Dim, Jean-Claude Brialy France Semi-improvised, proto-Nouvelle vague short[34]
A Movie Bruce Conner United States Iconic collage film.[35]
Schwechater Peter Kubelka Austria "Metric" beer commercial
Szkoła (School) Jan Lenica, Walerian Borowczyk Poland Animated photographs[4]
Spatiodynamisme Tinto Brass, Nicolas Schöffer France Color, silent. A visual document of Schöffer's CYSP-1, the first cybernetic sculpture.[36]
Sztandar młodych (Banner of Youth) Jan Lenica, Walerian Borowczyk Poland Animation[30]
The Very Eye of Night Maya Deren United States
1959
Les astronautes Walerian Borowczyk, Chris Marker France Animated[4]
Chasse des Touches Hy Hirsh France Abstract animation[5]
Cat's Cradle Stan Brakhage United States Color, silent[11]
The Diary of an Unknown Soldier Peter Watkins United Kingdom
Eyewash Robert Breer United States Color, silent mixture of abstract animation and live action; exists in two versions.[10]
Hiroshima mon amour Alain Resnais Eiji Okada, Emmanuelle Riva France Written by Marguerite Duras
Monsieur Tête Jan Lenica France Animation[30]
Odds and Ends Jane Conger Shimane Belson United States
Pull My Daisy Robert Frank, Alfred Leslie Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso United States Beat Generation film, written by Jack Kerouac[37]
The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film Richard Lester United Kingdom
Scotch Hop Christopher Maclaine United States [32]
Season of Strangers Maya Deren United States Unfinished; made as part of Haiku Film Project at Woodstock[19]
Shadows John Cassavetes Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni, Hugh Hurd United States
Sirius Remembered Stan Brakhage United States Color, silent[11]
Wedlock House: An Intercourse Stan Brakhage United States Silent[11]
Window Water Baby Moving Stan Brakhage United States Color, silent[11]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Kees Kino program" (PDF).
  2. ^ Lewis, David. "Rabbit's Moon". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  3. ^ Markopoulos filmography
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Culture.pl Borowczyk profile". Archived from the original on 2013-10-03. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "CVM, Hy Hirsh CV".
  6. ^ Lewis, David. "Ensemble for Somnambulists". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  7. ^ Letterboxd entry
  8. ^ a b c d "Situationist Archive". Situationist Archive. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  9. ^ Open Culture page
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h "Harvard Film Archive: Robert Breer, Kinetic Poet of the Avant-Garde". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Stan Brakhage Filmography". www.fredcamper.com.
  12. ^ "The Len Lye Foundation - Color Cry, 1953". www.lenlyefoundation.com.
  13. ^ "INTERVIEW WITH KENNETH ANGER". June 4, 2009.
  14. ^ "The End (Christopher Maclaine, 1953) | The Bioskop Presents …".
  15. ^ "Jordan Belson Filmography". www.centerforvisualmusic.org.
  16. ^ "Coilhouse » Blog Archive » Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome's Surreal Ritual".
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Jeanne Liotta: Joseph Cornell" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 2, 2012.
  18. ^ Kuersten, Erich (July 9, 2009). "Acidemic - Film: "The Half-Lit Night of the Insane" DEMENTIA: DAUGHTER OF HORROR".
  19. ^ a b c "In the Mirror of Maya Deren presskit" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 6, 2013.
  20. ^ Rotterdam Film Festival entry
  21. ^ Jacobs, Ken (10 January 2016). "Orchard Street".
  22. ^ "The Flaherty Seminar, "The Flaherty Preservation Initiative"".
  23. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Together (1956)". www.screenonline.org.uk.
  24. ^ "Austrian Film Museum: 1 Snow Sound and Silence".
  25. ^ "Canyon Cinema : Film".
  26. ^ "CFMDC entry".
  27. ^ Kontraste Festival entry Archived 2013-12-19 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ "MOMA entry".
  29. ^ "Cartoons Considered For An Academy Award – 1957 |". cartoonresearch.com.
  30. ^ a b c d e f "Lenica profile at culture.pl". Archived from the original on 2013-08-25. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  31. ^ "theplant.info". www.theplant.info.
  32. ^ a b c "Chicago Reader Movie Review of the films of Christopher Maclaine, by Fred Camper". www.fredcamper.com.
  33. ^ Camper, Fred. "Anticipation of the Night". Chicago Reader.
  34. ^ "notcoming.com | Une histoire d'eau". notcoming.com.
  35. ^ "Bruce Conner: The Art Of Montage". Film.
  36. ^ "Spatiodynamisme (1958)" – via letterboxd.com.
  37. ^ "photo-eye | Magazine -- Is Pull My Daisy Holy?". www.photoeye.com.
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List of avant-garde films of the 1950s
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