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1900 - 19491950 - 19591960 - 19691970 - 19791980 - 19891990 - 19992000 - PRESENT

Following the displacement and deprivations of the war many European artists were slow to commence further experiments with film. In America, however, film was establishing itself as an art, supported by the publication of Film Culture and the work of artists such as Maya Deren. A 'beat' culture of poetry, drugs and abstract expressionist painting challenged the norms of society and was reflected in the film Pull My Daisy and the emergence of artist filmmakers such as Stan Brakhage.

Written and researched by Ingrid Stigdotter, who is a PhD candidate in Film Studies at the University of Southampton, where she also teaches on the undergraduate Film Studies programme. Her doctoral research examines the reception of contemporary European cinema in Britian, with particular focus on recent French and Swedish films, and the impact of cultural and linguistic difference on film interpretation.

Still from Anticipation of the Night by Stan Brakhage, 1958

KEY EVENTS: 1950-1959


Untitled Event, Black Mountain College, USA. Performed by John Cage

National Film Theatre opens in the former Telekinema building.

Margaret Tait makes A Portrait of Ga, Scotland.


Festival of Britain. Norman Maclaren's 3D films shown at the Telekinema on the South Bank


Maya Deren founds the Film Artists Society, New York

Lindsay Anderson makes the documentary O Dreamland.


First issue of Film Culture, founded by Jonas Mekas, New York


First of Free Cinema screenings at the National Film Theatre

Look Back in Anger, Royal Court Theatre, London.


This is Tomorrow exhibition, Whitechapel Gallery, London


Peter Kulbelka makes Arnulf Rainer, Vienna

Alan Krapow's 18 Happenings in 6 Parts, New York

John Cassavetes makes Shadows, New York


Stan Brakhage makes Anticipation of the Night

Material-Action performances by Hermann Nitsch and Otto Muehl in Vienna.

Bruce Conner's found footage film, A Movie


'Beat' cinema with Pull My Daisy (Robert Frank/Alfred Leslie)

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