Filmmaker, artist, and theoretician Peter Kubelka in conversation with experimental film and videomaker MM Serra.
Kubelka's short works helped characterize and define the European and experimental underground cinema of the 1960s. His ironic travelogue Our Trip to Africa (1966) is a montage of sights -- hunters, natives, animals, and buildings -- accompanied by effusions of sound. Kubelka studied in Vienna and Rome, and made his first film, Mosaik im Vertrauen, in 1955. He went on to invent the metric film technique, which reduced images to abstract, black-and-white frames, and to develop sound film, a form of visual and auditory landscape whose rhythm lingers on in the subconscious long after the screen has dimmed.
An independent filmmaker since 1952, Peter Kubelka works in film, cooking, music, architecture, lectures, and writing. In 1964, he co-founded the Austrian Film Museum and was its curator for many decades. In 1978, he became professor in film and video at the Art Academy in Frankfurt, where he also served as Rector in the period of 1985-88. Kubelka's theoretical work on cooking began in 1967, and in 1980 his teaching position was expanded to include "Film and Cooking as Art". He is a co-founder of the Anthology Film Archives in New York.
MM Serra is Executive Director of The New America Cinema Group, Inc./ The Film-Makers' Cooperative (FMC), founded in 1961 by a group of 20 New York artists (including Jonas Mekas, Robert Frank, Jack Smith, Marie Menken) to create a network for the distribution and exhibition of experimental films. FMC has over 500 members and 4,000 films and new media for rental and sale. FMC programs monthly screenings in a series titled Jewels and Gems at the Collective Unconscious in New York. (36 minutes)