Experimental cinema

The Cinematograph (recording of animated photographic images then large projection, using the same camera) was invented in 1895 by the Lumière Brothers. It is in itself a technical experiment. But this technology was very quickly used mainly to “tell stories”, following the example of the novel or classical theatre. This is what we can call “academic cinema”.

Literature is not only made up of novels, but also of poetry, which is often not narrative. Poetry experiments with sensations by working on the language itself, taking liberties with all the codes, while also being highly codified (the verses, the feet...). Poetry explores both sensitive and formal avenues, far from the rules established for narrative novels. And yet the two are mutually enriching: novelists can play with language, and poets can tell stories.

Experimental film has the same function for cinema as poetry has for literature. Experimental cinema explores, far from codes, the very matter of its essence. It invents, takes risks, exists outside the commercial market, in complete freedom. But experimental cinema is also indispensable to academic cinema, because it allows it to renew itself. As Jean-Luc Godard used to say, “The margin is what holds the pages together.”

Experimental cinema has also built its “identity”, its own history (based on the avant-gardes of the 1920s), its traditions, its criteria, its professional milieu. This museum approach is essential for the history of the arts, but also carries within it its own contradiction, which is quite normal. There is thus the risk of freezing experimental cinema in certain criteria, which is antinomic with its very nature. Thus, today, truly experimental cinema is undoubtedly the one that is not yet named as such.

Links on Experimental Cinema

This list is not exhaustive, it is a first track.



Video-vegetal installation. Into the International Garden Festival of Chaumont-sur Loire, the landscape architect Jean-Philippe Poirée-Ville has created a vegetable sculpture, in a basement, as a large liana levitating in the dark. I worked on (...)

Screening of the feature film “Fatigue” by Benoît Labourdette (1:03, 2000). The Forum des Images proposed in March 2013, in the series “Cinema City”, a beautiful theme “Experimental Paris”, with films of Chris Marker, Jean-Luc Godard, Philippe Garrel, (...)

A film by Benoît Labourdette (4’47s, 2016).

Facing our child, real or imagined.

The daily Ouest France published an article on « Kaleidoscope show » at Les Sables d’Olonne (France), January 15, 2015. http://www.ouest-france.fr/faire-vi... ArticleMake live movies outside the wals Small lantern association organized Friday (...)

Loop video by Benoît Labourdette (1’10s, 2013).

People sitting, working in a small office, with the background the street behind the window. The superposition of four times by subtracting the pixels can give, if you look at a single character, an opening on the “depth” of the person, thus (...)

At the launch party at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris) of the second edition of “The shortest day”, the international short film day organized by the National Center of Cinema release of the film H Building in the experimental (...)

Personal exhibition of recent video works. La Veranda, an exhibition place for young digital creation in the Centre region of France (a structure of the association Plan libre créations) proposes a solo exhibition of my recent video work, 18 and (...)

A film by Benoît Labourdette (7’05s, 2015).

The bankruptcy of a movie theater, and the words that accompany indifference.

Screening of « Staff room », a film by Benoît Labourdette (2’10, 2012). “Kino”, organized by Christophe Gauthier in Gap (association “The Cat in the teapot”) proposed its first edition, november 30, (...)

Anthropologies of cinematographic devices, by Jean-Louis Comolli, Benoît Labourdette and Vincent Sorrel. The Etats Généraux du Film Documentaire offer as part of their 27th one-day seminar, 20 August 2015: “The mutations of cinema”. Introductory (...)

The “experimental cinema” is a practice of audiovisual creation which explores the audiovisual forms and their artistic devices, of creation and diffusion. We make films, installations, performances. The stake is not to “tell a story”, but to make (...)

I put out and I accompany the digital cinema workflows for producers, distributors, cinema and art schools : choice of cameras, post-production devices, broadcast quality... For example, I regularly manufacture (...)

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