• film

Subversive Elements


Dir. Albie Thoms, Australia, 1969, 16mm, 85 min.

The Futurist Manifesto was written in 1909 by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, kicking off one of the most radical and controversial art movements of the 20th century. Some 60 years later, Australian filmmaker Albie Thoms created a feature-length experimental film named after its author, proving just how influential and inspiring this text could be. Marinetti’s legacy is only directly called out in the first 15 minutes of the film as off-camera voices (we can assume Thoms’ is one of them) discuss his pioneering artistic and cultural work. That conversation gives way to an improvised psych-jazz soundtrack, quickly morphing into a sequence of recorded scenes utilizing multiple exposures and a variety of camera movements. The film continues at a frenetic pace, eventually incorporating found footage and direct-to-film animations before concluding. Yet even in these evasions the message is clear. Marinetti, the film, is its own manifesto committed to celluloid, employing a broad range of techniques used in experimental filmmaking to illustrate the radical possibilities of the moving image. Viewed more closely, Marinetti is both a summation of the history of the experimental film and a call to action for film artists to forge new paths. 

Introduced by Kriszta Doczy, Director, Contemporary Arts Media - Australia, Artfilms Ltd - United Kingdom

Special thanks to Steve Macfarlane (Spectacle Theater) and Sukhdev Sandhu (NYU Colloquium For Unpopular Culture). 

Presented in partnership with:

The National Film and Sound Archive, Australia


Contemporary Arts Media - Artfilms, Australia