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A Hollis Frampton Odyssey (The Criterion Collection) (1979)

Hollis Frampton  |  NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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A Hollis Frampton Odyssey (The Criterion Collection) + On the Camera Arts and Consecutive Matters: The Writings of Hollis Frampton (Writing Art)
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Product Details

  • Directors: Hollis Frampton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: April 24, 2012
  • Run Time: 266 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006X64RRM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,864 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


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

3.7 out of 5 stars
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection April 30, 2012
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I am glad that Criterion has assembled a Hollis Frampton anthology. Over the last quarter century I have had only a few chances to see his movies. Screenings of experimental cinema are scarce. When I watched them, I found Frampton's movies difficult and in need of repeated viewing. It is good that they are accessible, and in the excellent condition that Criterion is known for.

The movies themselves challenge the viewer. Frampton has some basic topics he likes to address: the material work of movies and moviemaking, forms of human experience and perception, the promises and disappointments of arcane knowledge. He likes to push the audience past the point of comfortable viewing. It an approach to film making that is directly related to the approach of conceptual artists, and it has the same effects. The experience of watching his movies, even short ones, can be confusing and stretch concentration past its limits.

There was a burst of creative film-making in New York beginning in the late 50s and running through the early 80s. For two generations, artists like Bruce Connor and Michael Snow, Lou Reed and Andy Warhol, Beth B and Richard Kern made movies that refused to let the audience sit comfortably in a dark room watching familiar projected images. Hollis Frampton is is one of the most important of those artists. By assembling this small collection, Criterion has made it a little easier to understand this difficult but important film maker.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A prophet April 1, 2014
Hollis Frampton was a seer and a prophet well ahead of his time. I had the good luck to take some film-history courses with him, and it was a revelatory experience. I mean, how many people could have predicted in 1971 that silver-emulsion film was going to all but disappear, and that virtually all film and photography would one day be in digital form, via the computer? Frampton, who died in 1984 at the age of 48, foresaw it all, yet he did not live to see the digital revolution. His films are not entertaining! They are, rather, intellectually stimulating, very much so. Each one of the experimental films in this collection is different, because each one was truly an experiment, not a just a knee-jerl repetition of some commercial formula. That said, I'm not totally convinced that seeing these films on DVD is the way to go. To really understand appreciate them for what they are, you must see them as a traditional film projection. But for those who might never have the chance, at least this release gives you a hint of what HF was all about.
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3 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worthless July 6, 2013
This has got to be one of the worst things I've ever watched. These short films look like you got a child a video camera and told them to go nuts. Some have sound some don't. There is no kind of consistency at all. No story is being told, you are just subjected to random images maybe, or random sounds maybe. This collection is so terrible it wouldn't even been worth Mystery Science Theater 3000 to try to tackle. If you are not familiar at all with the director or have some very good reason to buy this, stay away at all costs!
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