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History of Avant-Garde Film

These posts present portions of Michael Betancourt's current research. If you are looking for more published articles on his media history work, you can find them posted in .pdf and with links to the magazines, under "articles" on

  • "The Invention of Glitch Video: Digital TV Dinner (1978) [preview]

  • The 3 Periods of Abstract Film & Video in the US

  • Commentary on misinformation about my research
  • Interesting primary source documents:

  • The Last of the Mohicans: Oskar Fischingers Symphony in Blue, FilmLiga, 15 November 1935, pp. 314-315 [.pdf]

  • Dreams That Money Can Buy, Hans Richter, 1947 [.pdf]

  • Tinting and Toning of Eastman Positive Motion Picture Film, second edition, 1918 [.pdf]
  • More articles and translations into Spanish, Portuguese and Greek are posted on


    Generative Color and Time Displacement

    story © Michael Betancourt | published September 7, 2016 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


    OtherZine 31 is running my discussion of using digital tools to create a movie with the same kind of RGB-based generative color used by Len Lye in Rainbow Dance .


    Joshua Gen Solondz's Prisoner's Cinema (2012)

    story © Michael Betancourt | published July 26, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


    Bright Lights Film Journal has my article on Johsua Gen Solondz's flicker film Prisoner's Cinema. This article discusses how the duplicity of hallucination/sight and transcendence/imprisonment is essnetial to the meaning in flicker cinema.


    Un-Dependently Yours - The Experiments in Cinema 2015 Yearbook

    story © Michael Betancourt | published April 11, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


    The 10th Anniversay book from the Experiments in Cinema festival Un-Dependently Yours: Imagining a World Beyond the Red Carpet is out.

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    The Early History of American Avant-Garde Film

    story © Michael Betancourt | published February 13, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


    The Museum of Modern Art in New York began a bibliographic indexing project focused on the history and criticism of motion pictures with The New York City WPA Writers Project, following the organization of the museums Film Library in 1935. This project, developed over several years was completed as a three volume survey of English language publications about motion pictures in 1941.

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    List of US Avant-Garde Film Histories

    story © Michael Betancourt | published January 30, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


    There are lots of histories published about US avant-garde film. Here's an extended list of some of them, arranged in order of publication year:

    Frank Stauffacher and Richard Foster, Art in Cinema (catalog, 1946)

    Lewis Jacobs, Experimental Cinema in America 1921-1947 in The Rise of the American Film (1948)

    Roger Manvell, Experiment in the Film (1949)

    Robert Pike, A Critical Study of the West Coast Experimental Film Movement (UCLA dissertation, 1960)

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