Mar 27, 2009

Hollis Frampton: A man of many T-shirts and even more ideas

If you're in New York, haven't broadened your cinematic horizons recently and have some odd desire to, you may want to skip over to Anthology Film Archives this weekend for their special screenings of noted Avant-Garde filmmaker, photographer, philosophy professor, drunk and T-shirt collector Hollis Frampton's (1936-1984) titantic, seven-part Hapax Legomena. Each of the short films that comprise the whole is a work of stand alone conceptual might, but together, they form structuralist treatise on late 20th century life, especially Frampton's. Delving with charm and daring intellectual energy into seemingly divergent topics such as mathematics and philosophy, linguistics and science, his films reflect his restless intellect (and his particular bout of craziness).

Frampton, at least in academic circles, is undergoing something of a revival. A new collection of his writings, On the Camera Arts and Consecutive Matters: The Writings of Hollis Frampton, who encompasses the most complete collection to date of his critical essays, lectures, correspondance, interviews and scripts, is released in April from MIT Press.

Active for only a decade and a half as a filmmaker, Frampton died from cancer (who doesn't, sooner or later) in 1984. Tonight presents a special treat - the godfather of American Experiemental Film scholarship, P Adams Sitney (Visionary Film) will be on hand to present two programs encompassing the seven films that make up Hapax Legomena. Below, via youtube, is a taste of Critical Mass, one of the parts of HL...