Antonio Reis e Margarida Cordeiro

Jaime (1974) 
35mm, 35 min.

"While working at Lisbon’s famed Miguel Bombarda sanatorium, psychologist Margarida Cordeiro discovered a series of arresting drawings by the subject of her first film with Reis, a recently deceased former patient and paranoid schizophrenic named Jaime Fernandes. Keeping a deeply respectful yet never tentative distance from the asylum world as a realm of unfathomable mystery, Reis and Cordeiro linger over Fernandes’ remarkably expressive drawings, assembling a profoundly moving and hypnotic portrait of a gifted artist and powerful emblem of Portugal’s virtual imprisonment during the repressive Salazar regime." Harvard Film Archives (on view as part of The School of Reis: The Films and Legacy of António Reis and Margarida Cordeiro)

B. S. Johnson

Fat Man on a Beach (1973)

British experimental novelist, poet, critic, and filmmaker B.S. Johnson, author of Alberto Angelo (1964) and House Mother Normal (1971) made several films in his brief ten year career. Fat Man on a Beach, finished just before his suicide at age 40, starts with Johnson's unique brand of the absurd and comic, and ends with him walking directly into the sea:

“A simple but audacious idea was proposed: Johnson should revisit his beloved Lleyn penninsula [setting of Johnson's first novel, Travelling People (1963)] . . . and he should make a film about it. The format would be quite straightforward: forty minutes of Johnson sitting on his favourite beach, Porth Ceriad, and talking directly to camera about anything that happened to come into his head" Jonathan Coe, Like a Fiery Elephant: The Story of B.S. Johnson

Alain Resnais

Toute la mémoire du monde (1956)

"With its long tracking shots through cavernous library hallways and its skeptical corresponding text (courtesy of writer Rémo Forlani), Alain Resnais' short essay film Toute la Mémoire du Monde imagines the Bibliothèque Nationale as a forbiddingly inhuman landscape in which man attempts to imprison "knowledge" in an effort to counter the limits of his own memory. Only in the act of individual selection - a single patron choosing a specific text - is there hope that this undifferentiated mass of knowledge can be redeemed, as the reader makes discriminating use of the collective national memory for the fulfillment of a constructive individual purpose." Andrew Schenker

Henry Hills

SSS (1988)

Henry Hills filmed several performers on the streets of New York's East Village, editing the footage with music improvised by Tom Cora, Christian Marclay, and Zeena Parkins.

Jean-Claude Risset/Lillian Schwartz

Mutations (1969)

French composer Jean-Claude Risset helped to pioneer computer music at Bell Labs in the early 1960s. Made in collaboration with computer pioneer Lillian Schwartz, this film sets animations by Ken Knowlton and others to Risset's titular composition for solo tape, which features a seemingly infinite glissando among its effects. Click here for part 1 of a 1976 documentary on Schwartz's work with computers.

Forough Farrokhzad

The House is Black (1963)

The only film directed by Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad, who died tragically just four years later at the age of 32, The House is Black is a documentary on a leprosy colony in Tebriz, Iran, with Farrokhzad's narration of Koranic verses and excerpts from her own poetry.

Elaine Summers

Windows in the Kitchen (1976)

The opening sequence of Elaine Summers' Windows in the Kitchen, part of the pioneering "intermedia" artist's collaboration with the Judson Dance Theater.

Robert Filliou

And So on, End So Soon: Done 3 Times (1977)

According to Fluxus artist Robert Filliou, art was born on January 17th, somewhere around 1,000,000 years ago, when someone dropped a dry sponge into a bucket of water.