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David Wharry: “General Picture” at Anthology Film Archives


David Wharry

Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue (at 2nd St.)
New York, US 10003

September 24 - September 29, 2022


David Wharry will be in attendance for this first full presentation of the “General Picture” series to take place in the U.S. organized by Anthology Film Archives!

An important figure in the history of French experimental cinema, both for his own films and for his work on behalf of avant-garde film as a curator and proselytizer, David Wharry is still virtually unknown on this side of the Atlantic.

Wharry organized several key film programs in the 1970s devoted to avant-garde and expanded cinema, and was an early member of the Coopérative des Cinéastes – the short-lived group that eventually led to the formation of Light Cone, which today remains one of the preeminent distributors of avant-garde cinema in Europe. His films invoke not only filmmakers from the experimental tradition as diverse as René Clair, Maurice Lemaître, Hollis Frampton, and Owen Land, but also musical comedies, low-budget sci-fi, masters of melodrama like Louis Feuillade and Douglas Sirk, and more.

Identifying almost the entirety of his body of work as a part of his ongoing “General Picture” series (which, at 18 “episodes” and counting, itself alludes to the structure of the silent serial), Wharry’s films deconstruct the codes and conventions of narrative cinema in a wide variety of ways. Whether isolating out particular elements (several of his films feature only subtitles, descriptive texts, or spoken narration, and will therefore be screening simultaneously as part of Anthology’s “Imageless Films” series), recreating the tropes and acting styles of silent melodrama, or calling attention to the phenomenon of film projection, Wharry’s films demonstrate an abiding fascination with the techniques and rituals of filmmaking and filmgoing.


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