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Movies by Michael Betancourt
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archives begin in 1996


Crossroads Festival schedule announced!

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


My movie Dancing Glitch is in Crossroads, Program 4: forward reverse read write: conjectures about the animal

In Person: Michael Betancourt; Karissa Hahn; Jeremy Moss; Deborah Stratman

Screening on Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 4:00 pm:

Cicatrix (2014) by Jeremy Moss
Soon (2014, Bay Area premiere) by Jeanne Liotta
Dancing Glitch (2013) by Michael Betancourt
Lentre Deux (2014) by Karl Lemieux
Sayres Vapor (2013, world premiere) by Karissa Hahn
Conjectures (2013) by Pablo Mazzolo
As Near as Light (2014, world premiere) by Susan DeLeo
Second Sighted (2014, Bay Area premiere) by Deborah Stratman
The Golden Hour (2014; Bay Area premiere) by Ross Meckfessel
Laborat (2014, Bay Area premiere) by Guillaume Cailleau
Jenny Haniver (2014, world premiere) by Stephen Broomer.

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Watson on the Aesthetics of Avant-Garde Film

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

Interesting early article on the aesthetics of avant-garde film versus commercial cinema from 1929: "The Amateur Takes Leadership" by J.S. Watson, on his film Fall of the House of Usher, in Movie Makers, January 1929.

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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"Beyond Spatial Montage" part 6 of 6

story © Michael Betancourt | published November 30, 2014 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

theory: working notes

This theory work will be published as a book-length monograph Beyond Spatial Montage: Windowing, or, the Cinematic Displacement of Time, Motion, and Space by Focal Press.

Part 6 of a 6 Part series proposing an expanded theorization of spatial montage, excerpted from a current book project.


The potential of on-screen structures that appear as displacement is at once a deeply under theorized, but at the same time over-determined. The same series of structures are shared by both the avant-garde and commercial media worlds. The failure of existing theorizations originates with those theories demand that the displaced structures of windowing be essentially critical, ignoring the alternative uses that are apparent within commercial media production. The uniformity of this morphology that allows both collage/montage-like juxtapositions and seamless constructions of realist continuity demonstrates the independence of these structures meaning from their formal organization: these on-screen structures function at a more basic level than that posed by the interpretations of narrative or the combinatory potentials of montage-like forms. Developing a conceptual map to accommodate this range of forms thus becomes a necessary prerequisite for any hermeneutic critical assessment.

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