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American Independent: A Focus on Shirley Clarke


Our monthly Experimenta programme gives you a chance to explore this boundary-pushing, influential filmmaker.

Shirley Clarke

“I’m revolting against the conventions of movies. Who says a film has to cost a million dollars and be safe and innocuous enough to satisfy every 12-year-old in America?”

Shirley Clarke was a dynamic, exploratory, experimental independent filmmaker who manifested her interest in jazz and dance across a series of films made between 1953 and 1985. A key figure in the early days of the New American Cinema, her lively, dynamic work rejected the objective truth claims of documentary and took many forms, blurring fact and fiction and either winning or being shortlisted for several Oscars. Collaborating with other independent filmmakers and enthused with Beat spirit, her bold, stunning work can be read as a series of experiments and proposals for a different type of filmmaking. This centenary exploration of Clarke’s work is programmed by Aga Baranowska and William Fowler. All titles are remastered.

Aga Baranowska and William Fowler, BFI programmers

Read our related Sight & Sound feature:
A profile of Shirley Clarke

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UK Film Review


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