Dir. Albie Thoms, Australia, 1969, 16mm, 85 min.
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.
by Kriszta Doczy, Director, Contemporary Arts Media - Australia, Artfilms Ltd -
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