FRESH EXPERIMENTAL with Michael Sicinski

Thursday, September 28, 7:30pm

AFS Cinema

6406 N I-35 Suite 3100 Austin, TX, 78752


It’s nearly autumn!

Texas Climate Change Autumn.

In triple digits.

Wipe your brow, come freshen up with us.

Akosua Adoma Owusu, Pelourinho, They Don’t Care About Us (Brazil / Germany / Ghana, 2019, 9 min.) Film still.

The Austin Film Society is our gracious host on Thursday, September 28 at 7:30pm. We’ll show you some FRESH EXPERIMENTAL, a sampler of the most original and provocative experimental filmmaking of the past five years.

FRESH EXPERIMENTAL is six films from artists around the globe, programmed by MICHAEL SICINSKI, our special guest.

Jessica Dunn Rovinelli, Marriage Story (U.S., 2020, 9 min.) Film still.


Akosua Adoma Owusu, Pelourinho, They Don’t Care About Us (Brazil / Germany / Ghana, 2019, 9 min.)
Jodie Mack, Wasteland No. 3: Moons, Sons (U.S., 2021, 5 min.)
Sky Hopinka, Sunflower Siege Engine (Ho-Chunk Nation / U.S., 2023, 13 min.)
Jessica Dunn Rovinelli, Marriage Story (U.S., 2020, 9 min.)
Minjung Kim, “The Red Filter is Withdrawn.” (South Korea, 2020, 12 min.)
Takashi Makino, Anti-Cosmos (Japan, 2022, 16 min.)

MICHAEL SICINSKI has been writing about film in Cinema Scope Magazine (Canada), Cineaste (U.S.), Cargo (Germany) and other venues for over twenty years. His personal website, The Academic Hack, was the first blog / film criticism site to focus on experimental cinema. He teaches in the English and Art departments at the University of Houston.

Sky Hopinka, Sunflower Siege Engine (Ho-Chunk Nation / U.S., 2023, 13 min.) Film still.

In the last ten to fifteen years, the concept of experimental cinema has evolved rapidly and irrevocably. Unlike in decades past, where there was a dominant style or method of avant-garde filmmaking (e.g., Romantic individualism, structural film), current practice is sprawling and pluralistic. This is in part due to the democratization of filmmaking tools (digital cameras and editing programs), and the Internet’s array of platforms for self-distribution (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo, even TikTok).

But the technology is not the primary driver here. Rather, a broader, more diverse group of artists have taken the stage, and their methods are equally diverse and syncretic.

Combinations of formal approaches, including traditional narrative forms, are applied based on the artist’s desired impact, resulting in an exciting cacophony of voices that reflects our complicated, fractious times.

-Michael Sicinski


Header image: René Magritte’s La condition humaine (The Human Condition), 1935. Reference image for Minjung Kim’s “The red filter is withdrawn.” (South Korea, 2020, 12 min.)