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A Hollis Frampton Odyssey (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1979)

Hollis Frampton  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Directors: Hollis Frampton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: April 24, 2012
  • Run Time: 266 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006X64S12
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,884 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Icon of the American avant-garde Hollis Frampton made rigorous, audacious, brainy, and downright thrilling films, leaving behind a body of work that remains unparalleled. In the 1960s, having started out as a poet and photographer, Frampton became fascinated with the possibilities of 16 mm filmmaking. In such radically playful, visually and sonically arresting works as Surface Tension, Zorns Lemma, (nostalgia), Critical Mass, and the enormous, unfinished Magellan cycle (cut short by his death at age forty-eight), Frampton repurposes cinema itself, making it into something by turns literary, mathematical, sculptural, and simply beautiful and always captivating. This collection of works by the essential artist the first home video release of its kind includes twenty-four films, dating from 1966 to 1979.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Many Criterion Collection fans have wondered when the company would release more anthology collections featuring avante-garde filmmakers.

We have seen the release of films by Stan Brakhage via two anthology volumes on Blu-ray but yet, fans have hoped to see an anthology or special release showcasing the work of Maya Deren, Kenneth Anger, Ernie Gehr, Andy Warhol, Marie Menken, Pat O'Neill and Hollis Frampton, to name a few.

With the support from those who enjoyed the "Stan Brakhage Anthology" release, Criterion Collection has chosen some of the best work of avante-garde filmmaker Hollis Frampton, in order to help introduce Frampton's oeuvre to curious cineaste but also please a following who have wanted to see a more thorough collection of his hard-to-find films.

Hollis Frampton is one of the most unique and talented filmmakers, especially when you follow his career as a student at Harvard University and Western Reserve University who was looked at by his peers as a genius but at the same time, he was also the type that walked the beat of his own drum and while taking a lot of classes that he wanted to take, he never graduated.

But it's the third of learning of art that inspired Frampton. From his friendship with painters Frank Stella, sculptor Carl Andre to developing a correspondence with modernist poet Ezra Pound, Frampton would take an interest in photography documenting Carl Andre's work.

And with his pursuit of creativity, Frampton would explore his ideas through filmmaking and showcasing his experimental use of film, audio and also digital art through the use of computers during that time of his life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very satisfying collection of a polarizing artist August 22, 2012
By Phxsns1
Hollis Frampton's films are certainly not for everyone. In fact, Nostalgia and Zorns Lemma are the only ones I got any real "enjoyment" out of (make no mistake, I'm glad I saw everything). I would strongly encourage you to check out some of Frampton's work on Youtube before you buy this set.

The video quality on these films varies quite a bit. The earlier films look a bit rough, but Zorns Lemma, Nostalgia and The Magellan Cycle all look quite good. Criterion, I'm sure, has done the best they could with what they had.

Sound quality fairs the same. Many of these films lack a soundtrack, but when it's present, sound effects and dialogue come across well.

The extras are actually a fairly big draw to the set. Most of the films come with remarks by Hollis Frampton himself. He doesn't have the most engaging delivery, but his comments are interesting and provide some much needed insight into these films. A 20-minute interview with Frampton included, as well as a lecture by Frampton narrated by Michael Snow, and a collection of product labels designed by Frampton.

A terrific set, but not for the unconverted.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Mary Poppins June 22, 2012
By J.
Verified Purchase
There seems to be two kinds of film buyers: those that have a good idea of what they like and can tell from synopses and reviews whether something will be for them, and those who like to cast their line out and see what they might find. For those latter kind, A Hollis Frampton Odyssey might be a disaster of rather comic proportions, but for the people who come to it with some idea of where they're going, they might find a wonderful surprise. Expect to be challenged to the utmost of your intellectual faculties. Frampton may even evince some kind of sadomasochistic verve in torturing his audience, but hey, no pain, no gain. Challenging, delightful, witty, confusing, hypnotic, beautiful are all adjectives that I think may apply. So now you know, the rest is up to you.
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32 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More interesting in theory than in practice April 24, 2012
After much anticipation, I received this item two days ago and have made my way through most of the films it contains. While it's not fair to compare two different artists, my previous experience with experimental film came through Criterion's "By Brakhage," a collection of the films of Stan Brakhage. Whereas Brakhage's films are often loaded with engaging visual material, Frampton's films, however lofty their intellectual conceits, are often far less visually stimulating. The product description describes the work as "thrilling" and "captivating." Almost without exception, this isn't true. "Carrots and Peas," for example, culminates with a five minute static shot of, well, carrots and peas, with a backwards vocal playing in the background. "Lemon" is nothing but a single shot of a lemon being very subtly lit from different angles. Interesting in concept, but watching it is a different matter. There are highlights - "Surface Tension" features a hyper-speed walk through New York and an interesting shot of a goldfish, and the "Magellan" films are sporadically interesting.

I realize I open myself up to ridicule from genius film historians who will snort derisive laughter at my inability to "get it," and who will gleefully explain why these films are the greatest things since the invention of the motion picture. And that's fine. This isn't for them - it's for the adventurous home viewer who is considering a purchase of "Hollis Frampton." To each his own, but I can see this one gathering all sorts of cobwebs on my shelf for years to come. If you took a shot on "Brakhage" and found yourself pleasantly surprised, you may still find "Frampton" dry as dust. 35 minutes into "Zorns Lemma," you'll either be pleasantly hypnotized or itching to switch it off altogether. It doesn't matter how brilliant a film is if it's not engaging or remotely entertaining. My suggestion would be to check out as many of the films as you can on YouTube before making a purchase.
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