485 Minutes of Nothingness: Experimental Films

One thing that makes movies so special is that they can stretch the imagination to all degrees. Popular films such as Toy Story, The Matrix, and Speed Racer have all signified the importance of special effects and the stretching of the imagination. But these movies all have something in common: to make profit. As extraordinary and unbelievable these films may appear, they’re just made to make some dough. These movies all fall under the genre of action and other salable themes. But what about the other types of movies that aren’t made for the blockbuster hype? Today I will be exploring the experimental film genre.

Can you imagine yourself sitting in front of a screen for over 8 hours (485 minutes to be exact) staring at a single shot image of the Empire State Building? I hope not because you would be insane. But in the 1964 film Empire, that is exactly what was recorded. Is this creativity or stupidity? Artistic or psychotic? The answer is…this is experimental. This for of filmmaking is practiced by underground filmmakers who go against the standard Hollywood methods of creating a piece of work. Typically, movies such as Empire, follow no narrative therefore is considered experimental.

In my opinion, experimental films are definitely part of the movie industry. In fact, the effect of having a non-narrative story is just the same as a film with one. Blockbuster movies such as Ironman and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon stretch the imagination. In movies such as these there exist that “that’s not real” factor. I believe experimental films carry the same effect in that they leave the audience guessing of what happened. The basis of not having a storyline is the stretch of the imagination for experimental films.



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