Arrow and Sherer have both spent many a precious hour reviewing impressive collections of rare footage. We asked them to share with us their top five favorite films shot in Super 8 or 16 mm. You'll be pleased with their commentary and choices. Film nerds don't play.
Barron Sherer provided us with "a small list of huge, small films":
5. Ken Jacobs's Little Stabs at Happiness 1963
"Sneaking this in. It's actually regular 8mm and an early example of Paracinema. Six segments using amateur formats and techniques to avant-garde ends. Shot over a couple of years which uses people, lighting, and costuming for moods."
4. Joseph Cornell's Rose Hobart 1936
"One of those rare movies that makes me convulse in the aisles after screaming 'You've stolen this film from my dreams!' We've all been there. I'm there everytime I see this."
3. Mission: Alpha Centauri 1967
"An eighth grade class shot this on super 8mm film with non-synch sound. Rediscovered by academics and buffs in the early 2000s. Chock full of riffs on Utopian societies, space travel, special effects and Star Trek. One of the few 'everybody in class has to contribute' projects that works."
2. Powers of Ten 1968
"Influential educational film with experimental technique by Ray Eames and her husband, Charles Eames that made clear in style, school kids place in the Universe. Excuse me, I've got mimeograph paper to sniff."
1. Martin Arnold's Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy 1996
"A landmark in the deconstruction of narrative movies. Step printing scraps of film shows us how much is in not much."
Kevin Arrow, "Films that have moved me, which have or will eventually be screened":
5. Harry Smith's Early Abstractions Circa '50s-60s
"A drug and alcohol induced, inspirational series of short films which took over twenty years to complete. Smith worked secretly, like an alchemist using funds given to him by Peggy Guggenheim and others. Smith was teaching Alchemy at the Naropa Institute and was supported towards the end of his life by Allen Ginsberg and a grant funded by the Grateful Dead."
4. Bruce Conner's Report 1963-67
"A visceral film constructed with found footage of the Kennedy assassination paired with a soundtrack of radio broadcasts of the event mashed up with consumerist advertising imagery."
3. The Stamping Ground Circa 1970
"A digest version of Holland's answer to the Woodstock Festival. Featuring naked hippies!"
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2. Jordon Belson's Cosmos 1969
"This film is a product of the 1960s San Francisco experimental film movement and a contemporary of Harry Smith. Belson was working in a highly secretive manner. Many to this day are still trying to figure how his films were produced."
1. Birth '60s
"I found a box of gross porno films at a thrift shop on 79th Street in Miami. At the bottom of the box was a peculiar reel of film which documented someone being born. I discarded the gross porno films but could not throw away the film of some anonymous persons birthday. I rarely watch it, but feel the need to take care of it."