The Avant-Garde

The Avant-Garde

The Internet defines avant-garde as "new and unusual or experimental ideas, especially in the arts, or the people introducing them". We here at OVID have tried to stay true to that idea while curating this collection. These films either highlight artists that worked in an experimental capacity or are films that are truly original in their creation.

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The Avant-Garde
  • The Wandering Soap Opera

    Directed by Raúl Ruiz and Valeria Sarmiento • Drama • With Luis Alarcón, Patricia Rivadeneira, Francisco Reyes • 2017 • 78 minutes

    Filmed by Chilean master Raúl Ruiz in 1990 but left unfinished until it was completed by his wife and collaborator Valeria Sarmiento in 2017, The Wandering Soap Oper...

  • The Annotated Field Guide of Ulysses S. Grant

    Directed by Jim Finn • Documentary • 2020 • 61 minutes

    For four years in the 1860’s half of the United States was held hostage by an unrecognized white supremacist republic. Shot on 16mm in national military parks, swamps, forests and the suburban sprawl across the former battlefields, the film ...

  • Blue Black Permanent

    Directed by Margaret Tait • Drama • With Celia Imrie, Jack Shepherd, Gerda Stevenson, James Fleet • 1992 • 84 minutes

    Margaret Tait's tale of three generations of women in a Scottish family swirls out through a series of interlinking stories and recollections, taking place in Edinburgh and the O...

  • The Connection

    Directed by Shirley Clarke • Drama • With William Redfield, Warren Finnerty, Roscoe Lee Browne • 1961 • 110 minutes

    Created by director Shirley Clarke at a time when female filmmakers were in short supply, The Connection shatters stereotypes to become one of the most vital American independent ...

  • Encounters with Your Inner Trotsky Child

    Directed by Jim Finn • Documentary • With Lois Severin • 2013 • 21 minutes

    "Encounters with Your Inner Trotsky Child also riffs on the self-help genre by reading the persecution of the Russian Marxist of the title as an allegory for finding inner peace. Mimicking the wobbly appearance of Eightie...

  • Frida Kahlo & Tina Modotti

    Directed by Laura Mulvey • Documentary • With Miriam Margolyes • 1983 • 29 minutes

    This tautly structured documentary sheds light on the work of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and Italian photographer Tina Modotti, women icons of the Mexican Renaissance. The film not only explores the two women's a...

  • I Cannot Tell You How I Feel

    Directed by Su Friedrich • Documentary • 2018 • 42 minutes

    Su Friedrich has taken up the camera again in her ongoing quest to film the battleground of family life. Her mother Lore—who played the lead in The Ties That Bind (1984), a film about her experiences growing up in Germany during the Seco...

  • Interkosmos

    Directed by Jim Finn • Documentary • With Nandini Khaund, Gorav Milos, Dean DeMatteis, Jim Finn, Ruediger van den Boom • 2007 • 71 minutes

    "...the debut feature film from Jim Finn....will undoubtedly become a cult classic. ...an almost anally-retentive eye for the iconography and fashions of the...

  • The Juche Idea

    Directed by Jim Finn • Documentary • 2008 • 62 minutes

    In the late 1960's Kim Jong Il guaranteed his succession as the Dear Leader of North Korea by adapting his father's Juche (pronounced choo-CHAY) philosophy to propaganda, film and art. Translated as self-reliance, Juche is a hybrid of Confuc...

  • The Last Angel of History

    Directed by John Akomfrah • Documentary • 1996 • 45 minutes

    John Akomfrah, director of Seven Songs of Malcolm X, returns with an engaging and searing examination of the hitherto unexplored relationships between Pan-African culture, science fiction, intergalactic travel, and rapidly progressing c...

  • Riddles of the Sphinx

    Directed by Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen • Drama • With Dinah Stabb, Merdelle Jordine, Rhiannon Tise • 1977 • 92 minutes

    Laura Mulvey, author of the seminal essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, helped to establish feminist film theory as a legitimate field of study. With Peter Wollen, sh...

  • The Right Way

    Directed by Peter Fischli & David Weiss • Drama • 1983 • 55 minutes

    In THE RIGHT WAY, friendship is once again put to the test as rat and bear go hiking in the open, as-it-were unspoiled countryside, at the mercy of the elements and all kinds of miracles - and, above all, at the mercy of themsel...

  • From The East

    Directed by Chantal Akerman • Documentary • 2003 • 110 minutes

    FROM THE EAST retraces a journey from the end of summer to deepest winter, from East Germany, across Poland and the Baltics, to Moscow. It is a voyage Chantal Akerman wanted to make shortly after the collapse of the Soviet bloc "befo...

  • Decasia

    Directed by Bill Morrison • Documentary • 2002 • 67 minutes

    Often compared to Stan Brakhage, Bill Morrison created DECASIA entirely with decaying, old found footage, melded to the music of Bang on a Can's Michael Gordon, performed by the 55 piece basel sinfonietta. The result is a delirium of de...

  • The Punishment

    Directed by Jean Rouch • Documentary • 1962 • 64 minutes

    An aimless young woman is sent home from school with nothing to do. Drifting through the streets of Paris, she comes across a variety of people.

    "Extraordinary and extraordinarily rare movie about public misogyny."—Richard Brody, The New ...

  • A Look at Madness / Captive Feast

    Directed by Mario Ruspoli • Documentary • With Dr. François Tosquelles • 1962 • 53 minutes

    Ruspoli had a standing interest in isolated and marginal communities, very much on display in films he shot in Lozère, in France’s rugged, unforgiving south. In A LOOK AT MADNESS and CAPTIVE FEAST, it’s pa...

  • Red Persimmons

    Directed by Shinsuke Ogawa, Peng Xiaolian • Documentary • 2001 • 90 minutes

    The ostensible subject of this remarkably beautiful film is the growing, drying, peeling and packaging of persimmons in the tiny Japanese village of Kaminoyama. The inhabitants explain that it is the perfect combination ...

  • The Society of the Spectacle

    Directed by Guy Debord • Documentary • 1973 • 91 minutes

    New! This version of the film has an English language voiceover produced by Light Industry and narrated by Paul Chan.

    Six years after the publication of his Situationist classic The Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord released this semi-...

  • The Society of the Spectacle (French w/ Eng. subtitles)

    Directed by Guy Debord • Documentary • 1973 • 91 minutes

    Six years after the publication of his Situationist classic The Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord released this semi-experimental, essay-film adaptation. Using the classic Situationist technique of “détournement” (think pre-digital remi...

  • In the Mirror of Maya Deren

    Directed by Martina Kudlácek • Documentary • With Miriam Arsham, Stan Brakhage, Chao Li Chi, Rita Christiani, Maya Deren • 2002 • 104 minutes

    With In The Mirror Of Maya Deren, documentary filmmaker Martina Kudlácek has fashioned not only a fascinating portrait of a groundbreaking and influential...

  • Notes on Marie Menken

    Directed by Martina Kudlacek • Documentary • 2007 • 97 minutes

    Martina Kudlacek, director of the critically acclaimed "In the Mirror of Maya Deren," brings us the story of Marie Menken (1909-1970), one of New York's outstanding underground filmmakers, who inspired and worked with renowned artist...

  • Le Navire Night

    Directed by Marguerite Duras • Drama • With Bulle Ogier, Dominique Sanda, Mathieu Carrière • 1979 • 90 minutes

    With LE NAVIRE NIGHT, writer and filmmaker Marguerite Duras (L'Amant, India Song) explores the matrix of love, desire and language in her characteristically oblique and experimental sty...

  • super-max

    Directed by Jim Finn • Documentary • 2003 • 13 minutes

    "Finn's chilling super-max is a tour of maximum security prisons shot from a moving car, their hulking forms framed by telephone poles and power lines that divide landscape and sky. The concluding voice-over, making reference to Lewis and Cl...

  • wüstenspringmaus

    Directed by Jim Finn • Documentary • 2002 • 3 minutes

    "'The gerbil has long been associated with New World capitalism because of its incessant energy...' The Golden Age of Hollywood takes on the history and evolution of this delightful household pet." —International Film Festival Rotterdam