Every cinematic rule and style; the storytelling methods we take for granted, come from experimentation. Close-ups, cuts, fades, wipes, pans, even sound, all come from someone just trying something new.
Just as with abstract and contemporary art, though, people are wary of watching experimental film. We tend to worry we are doing it wrong, or that we don’t have the knowledge to understand or appreciate it. But, just like art, that’s not important.
Just like trying anything new and different, spending an hour or so immersed in a big WTF experience is pretty fun. And hopefully you’ll get something from the experiment.
Our picks of the best experimental films as MIFF:
The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga
Part animated fairy tale, part abstract reflection on the sociological changes of contemporary Eastern Europe, the film is pensive, beautiful and strangely amusing.
Goodbye to Language
The latest experiment in 3D from master filmmaker Jean-Luc Goddard, Goodbye to Language, is as much a story about love and relationships as an exploration of modern technology.
The experimental shorts program is a collection of nine films from around the world that play with form and content in novel and abstract ways.
Focus on Infinity
Although it isn’t experimental in nature, Focus on Infinity is experimental in theme. Filmmaker Joerg Burger has made a documentary about people who have dedicated their lives to trying to know the unknowable and unravelling the meaning of life.
Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?
Renowned filmmaker Michel Gondry’s animated series of interviews with Noam Chomsky.
The House That Eye Live In
Documentary filmmaker Steven McIntyre explores the prodigious career of Australian experimental filmmaker Dirk de Bruyn over 40 years.
A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness
MIFF stalwarts, Ben Rivers and Ben Russell collaborate on this tale of a musician’s search for utopia.
Hard to Be a God
Russian filmmaker Alexei German started making this film in 1968, but it was finished by his wife and son after his death in 2013. Based on a science-fiction novel, this film has been described as “cinema reinvented”.