Director Pip Chodorov grew up amongst the most influential of experimental film gurus and this warm and reflective documentary captures both the work and the filmmakers in a satisfying way. Though this may well be a film more for the cineaste its also an interesting stepping stone to discovering the pleasures of underground and experimental film.
It more accurately could be called "A History of Anthology Film Archives," which is still great and worth documenting, but it's (obviously) not really a wide overview of experimental film. Some great interviews - Ken Jacobs and Robert Breer in particular. Wanted way more Brakhage.
Chodorov does yeoman's work, and I am very grateful to him for it, and for this film. The film's title is unfortunate and small-visioned, as is the film itself, which gets in the way, like Ismailos's, and I keep wanting to say "Down in front!" I don't mind seeing through their eyes if it is clearly framed as a personal essay, but I do not want to look over their shoulder. Worthy subject; too bad about the frame.
This film has a bit of a taste of a school essay 'how I spent the summer', not sure how to explain this in better words. Maybe, because 'I' is part of the film. Maybe, because there are only those filmmakers who were somehow in the life of director of this film. But all of this is not a crime. Still nice and light look at experimental cinema.
(2.5 stars) It's very well-intentioned film. The directors all seem really into their creative process. It was interesting to see this explanation of this type of cinema. Ultimately, I was bored to tears with this doc, but that's my own personal interest in this type of film peeking through. For people who like experimental film, this would be a good behind-the-scenes look at the creative minds at work in this field.
Works as a simple history, but with little to no analysis of these films or what made them so much a departure from mainstream cinema. I appreciate it for seeing some pieces that I have not seen before. Besides that, there isn't much here that's essential viewing.
Free Radicals is a truly wonderful learning experience about the history of experiential film.
Pip Chodorov does an amazing job interviewing and showing the audience past and present short experiential films. However, Chodorov also the narrator of the film has an almost lifeless voice. This is a major drawback to the documentary. Although, I do suggest any that are big fans of films watch this documentary.