Filmmaker Bio

Joel Schlemowitz is an experimental filmmaker based in Brooklyn who works with 16mm film, shadowplay, magic lanterns, and stereographic media. He is the author of Experimental Filmmaking and the Motion Picture Camera: An Introductory Guide for Artists and Filmmakers (Focal Press/Routledge). His first feature film, 78rpm, is an experimental documentary about the gramophone. His short works have been shown at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, New York Film Festival, and Tribeca Film Festival and have received awards from the Chicago Underground Film Festival, The Dallas Video Festival, and elsewhere. Shows of installation artworks include Anthology Film Archives, Images Film Festival, and Microscope Gallery. He teaches experimental filmmaking at The New School, and was Resident Film Programmer and Arcane Media Specialist at the Morbid Anatomy Museum.

Artist Statement

My films begin with visual poetry shot with a 16mm Bolex camera and inspired by the experimental filmmaker Marie Menken, then come poetry films made with the author Wanda Phipps. There also come experimental film portraits, hand-painted films, and experimental documentaries on artist collectives. Subsequently there are "camera roll" films produced without editing, magic lantern shows using glass slides and "live" Victrola soundtrack, 16mm film installations, live film performances (including shooting, hand-developing, and projecting a film all in one screening) and collaborative arcane media mash-ups. Currently I work with hybrid approaches, combining documentary and experimental film. While the forms of media are diverse, common elements include emulating the heightened state of experience of a poem in a non-verbal means, an undercurrent of mordantly droll humor, a preoccupation with the tactile nature of the filmic image, and an eye towards the Nineteenth Century. In some works there is a preoccupation for blending of Eastern and Western motifs, with the mixing of the traditional and cosmopolitan of Japan's Meiji era forming a model for the collage-like fusion of these differing elements.

Areas of Teaching/Scholarly Interests

Film production; experimental filmmaking; hybrid media approaches; film installation and expanded cinema; analysis of work through the artistic and technical processes of production; DIY filmmaking

photo credit: Melanie Chopko