Essentials: The Secret Masterpieces of Cinema

"What is pop cinema? There is no consensus as to what constitutes pop cinema; the notion that there might be a pop cinema has not been theorised. The history of experimental cinema and the history of artist’s film and video, are non-continuous histories, full of ruptures and contradictions, moments of ambivalence and conflicting positions. Pop cinema is a particularly strange and difficult cinema to classify. On the one hand, aspects of pop can been seen in many strands of avant-garde film and artist’s experiments with the moving image, from independent, underground or experimental cinema, expanded cinema, structuralist or structuralist materialist cinema, fluxus film, minimal film, and so on.

On the other hand, many of the films of Jean-Luc Godard and the French New Wave, or those by Michelangelo Antonioni and the Italian Neo Realism could certainly be described as pop. A pop cinema could also be understood in relation to the Free Cinema movement of the fifties and the social research studies of Mass-Observation in England, or to popular culture more generally, with television programmes like the Batman show in the sixties or the introduction of the music video in Top of the Pops."

- Tanya Leighton


William Klein
‘Broadway By Light’, 1957

Peter Roehr
‘Film Montage I’, 1965-68

Peter Whitehead
‘When I Was Young’, 1965

Thom Andersen, Malcolm Brodwick
‘--- ------ (aka The Rock And Roll Film)’, 1966-67

Ronald Nameth
‘Andy Warhol"s Exploding Plastic Inevitable’, 1967-2005

Derek Boshier
‘Link’, 1970

Jeff Keen
‘Marvo Movie’, 1967

Nam June Paik
‘The Selling Of New York’, 1972

Pipilotti Rist
‘I"m Not The Girl Who Misses Much’, 1986