Avant-garde / Experimental

Avant-garde is a word from the French, meaning 'ahead of the crowd'. In contemporary English, we'd say it's on the 'cutting edge'. Avant-garde filmmakers want to experiment with new ideas, forms, techniques, and expressions - and are often said to be 'ahead of their time'. Avant-garde films are characterized by a high degree of experimentation - whether it be in manipulation of narrative materials, highly stylized visual representation, or radical departures from the norms and conventions current at the time, avant-garde film is always a vehicle for the filmmaker's expression. Surrealism, abstract studies of light and form, Dadaism, and impressionistic studies of people and things figure heavily in early works of the genre. Below is a Alice's extensive collection in this genre. Right: The famous eyeball scene from Luis Bunuel & Salvador Dali's 'Un Chien Andalou'.

71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1994)

Director: Michael Haneke
Starring: Udo Samel, Anne Bennent, Branko Samarovski, Otto Grunmandl, Gabriel Cosmin Urdes

Inspired by a shocking true life shooting spree in Vienna in 1993, Michael Haneke's challenging film weaves together fragments of the story in an atte... Read more

A Zed and Two Noughts (1985)

Director: Peter Greenaway
Starring: Andrea Ferreol, Brian Deacon, Eric Deacon

From the famed director of 'The Draughtsman's Contract' and 'The Belly of an Architect', this film is an erotic, beautiful, disturbing, absurdist and... Read more

Alice (1988)

Director: Jan Svankmajer
Starring: Kristyna Kohoutova, Camilla Powers

Jan Svankmajer, the Czech master of animation, has fulfilled a lifetime ambition in this interpretation of Alice in Wonderland. Svankmajer's Alice rem... Read more

Alice's Restaurant (1969)

Director: Arthur Penn
Starring: Arlo Guthrie, Pat Quinn, James Broderick

You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant in this classic slice of 60s life, featuring troubadour Arlo Guthrie in his only major film appear... Read more

American Buffalo (1995)

Director: Michael Corrente
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Franz, Sean Nelson

David Mamet's profane, provocative three-character play. Dustin Hoffman plays a self-ennobled world expert who horns in on the plans of his friend, a... Read more

Angel Mine (1978)

Director: David Blyth
Starring: Derek Ward, Jennifer Redford, Myra De Groot, Mike Wilson

An outrageous erotic fantasy in which a young suburban couple become fully entangled in a wish-fulfillment world of black leather, punk rock and sexua... Read more

Angels and Insects (1995)

Director: Philip Haas
Starring: Mark Rylance, Kristin Scott Thomas, Patsy Kensit

A haunting, erotically charged drama set in Victorian England, where a poor anthropologist decides to take residence with a wealthy family after a dis... Read more

Antichrist (2009)

Director: Lars von Trier
Starring: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Willem Dafoe

Lars von Trier's enormously controversial and challenging psychodrama stars Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg as a grieving couple who retreat to... Read more

Avant-Garde: Experimental Cinema of the 1920s and 30s (2005)


Culled from the collection of noted movie archivist Raymond Rohauer, this two-disc set features more than 20 artistically diverse experimental short f... Read more

Bagdad Cafe (1987)

Director: Percy Adlon
Starring: Marianne Sagebrecht, CCH Pounder, Jack Palance

This enchanting and affectionate fable unveils, in a series of wonderful vignettes, the developing friendship between several oddball characters. Mari... Read more