Structural Film at the Turn of the Century | Underground Film Series

  • IU Cinema
  • December 7, 2023
  • IU Cinema
  • 1213 E. 7th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405
  • (812) 856-2463
  • 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • Free but Ticketed

In 1969, film historian P. Adam Sitney identified a trend within the avant-garde he called “structural film.” Eschewing narrative cohesion for foregrounded form, structural films call attention to the processes behind their own creation. Structural film can involve a play with the conventional continuity structure of mainstream cinema, an invitation for the spectator to re-examine the taken-for-granted illusions of coherence the medium often presents. The height of the structuralist film movement was the 1960s-1970s, but many thought-provoking structural films have been produced since. This program offers three prime examples.

Window Work (2000) | Dir. Lynne Sachs | USA

As a woman performs banal tasks—washing a window, reading a newspaper—small frames within the frame play home movies. Window Work blends film and video, motion and stillness, present quiet and dislocated sound, all within a static window frame. [9 min; experimental; English]

*Corpus Callosum (2002) | Dir. Michael Snow | Canada

An office comedy? A domestic sitcom? Not like any you’ve seen before. Michael Snow’s feature-length experiment with artificiality and digital effects is a surreal depiction of in-between spaces that are created and manipulated by camera and computer. [90 min; experimental; English]

Passage à l'acte (1993) | Dir. Martin Arnold | Austria

Passage à l’acte manipulates time within a Hollywood depiction of the nuclear family. By stretching a 10-second clip from To Kill a Mockingbird (dir. Robert Mulligan, 1962) to nearly 12 minutes, the harmonious continuity structure of the classical narrative film is compromised, rendering a disjuncture, a picture of an unsettled postwar America. [12 min; experimental; English]

Any film screened at IU Cinema may contain content that viewers find sensitive or upsetting. Visit our Audience Advisories page to learn more.

Structural Film at the Turn of the Century | Underground Film Series