American Avant-Garde: The Lawrence Jordan Album/The Films of James Broughton [7 Discs] [DVD]

This two-in-one box set brings together retrospectives by a couple of key members of American avant-garde filmmaking. It begins with The Lawrence Jordan Album, a "best of" compilation of Jordan's work that combines his animated shorts with numerous live action ones. Contents include: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Sophie's Place. The second half of the set features 17 short subject films by "cinematic poet" James Broughton, divided into three sections: "The Early Years," "A Middle Period" and "Finale: The Films with Joel Singer." Individual works in the Broughton half include: The Pleasure Garden, Dreamwood and Scattered Remains.
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Overview

Special Features

  • The Films of James Broughton:
  • Follow Your Own Weird: The World of James Broughton, a Facets cine-notes

Synopsis

Four in the Afternoon
Mother's Day
Duo Concertantes
Cornell
Scattered Remains
Gymnopedies
H.D. Trilogy Part 1: The Black Oud
Filmmaker Larry Jordan documents Joanna McClure's 1990 trip to Rome and the Greek Islands, superimposing lines from H.D. Doolittle's poem "Hermetic Definitions" to convey the traveler's drifting thoughts and observations as she explores ruins, swims, and savors the local color at various cafes. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Erogeny
Masquerade
Rime of the Ancient Mariner
In this agonizing psychological drama, an emotionally shaken woman (Elizabeth Moss) retreats to the lake house of her best friend (Katherine Waterston) to regain her composure after a series of personal tragedies, only to instead pick her friend to pieces when the boy next door (Patrick Fugit) triggers her disgust. ~ Violet LeVoit, Rovi

Winter Light
Our Lady of the Sphere
Loony Tom
H.D. Trilogy Part 3: Star of Day
An elderly travels explores the world as her thoughts drift to memories of a long-lost friend, and we experience her emotions though the words of poet H.D. Doolittle. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Odyssey: Water Light
The Gardener of Eden
Once Upon a Time
Odyssey: Tapestry
High Kukus
Devotions
Hermes Bird
Enid's Idyll
The Sacred Art of Tibet
The Sacred Art of Tibet sprang from the inspiration of an early '70s gallery showing of some of the treasured religious art of Tibetan Buddhism. Thangka paintings of tantric deities, statues, and scroll paintings all serve as the material for this documentary, which rises as a work of art apart from the works which it explores. ~ Sean Hurley, Rovi

The Visible Compendium
The Visible Compendium is a 17-minute animated film that took over two years to make. The film is a visual journey through tranquil worlds replete with images of tigers in the sun and plants that smile and nod to passing nude women who comfortably wander through magical landscapes. Rich in animated metaphor, this densely layered piece exhibits a high level of technical mastery of the animated form. ~ Sean Hurley, Rovi

The Pleasure Garden
Known to many as the father of the independent West Coast cinema, James Broughton's career spanned 40 years, beginning in 1946. The avant-garde artist was a master of the short film and widely known for his surreal vision and his flair for blending poetry with the moving image. The Pleasure Garden earned Broughton recognition at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival. A lyrical and lush satirical comedy filmed in the gardens of London's Crystal Palace, the story celebrates the triumph of love over the forces of oppression. ~ Sally Barber, Rovi

Testament
This Is It
Visions of a City
Adagio
The Water Circle
Blue Skies Beyond the Looking Glass
As our ears are flooded with the sounds of Mambo and Tibet, Jordan Animation flows into images of such iconic, silent-era films stars as Buster Keaton, {$Lon Chaney, Lionel Barrymore, and Greta Garbo. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

H.D. Trilogy Part 2: The Grove
The Bed
Orb
The Golden Positions
Sophie's Place
Dreamwood
Dreamwood is one of the most abstract of avant-garde poet, playwright, and director James Broughton's works. There is no plot; the film wanders from one sight to another, dwelling on some and rushing past others, in the manner of a daydream. Among the images glimpsed are angels, hippies, statues, and icons. Throughout, Broughton touches on the contemporary resonance of mythic imagery. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Song of the Godbody
Moonlight Sonata
In a Summer Garden
Carabosse
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