Between Two Cinemas
Filmmaker and accomplished film restorationist Ross Lipman is one of the most exciting figures of today’s American independent cinema. Once again, this becomes evident in his new work, a hybrid between autobiographical essay, newly edited short films, and unpublished archival material – including footage of Andrei Tarkovsky and Stan Brakhage – and a conversation with experimental filmmaker Bruce Baillie. Form and technique are both exceptionally important for Lipman, and each of his films finds its very own language through these cinematic ingredients. “Between Two Cinemas”, for that matter, owes its unique tone to collage techniques and artist collaborations. This makes sense, because Lipman’s central question here is how he can reconcile the fragments of his own artist biography and the conflicting influences on which his work rests: abstraction and realism, avant-garde and fiction, America and Europe. “Between Two Cinemas” is a fascinating personal retrospection – rarely can we witness an artist so closely and vividly reflecting on his own work - at the same time, the film ponders questions of perception and seeing. It is astounding how effortless this filmmaker creates such connections. For him, philosophical examination and first-class entertainment do not contradict each other. Supported by the contemplative music of Hungarian composer Mihály Víc, Ross Lipman succeeds once more in exciting us for the "adventure of perception" (Stan Brakhage).
Ross Lipman is a filmmaker, essayist, and archivist. Formerly Senior Film Restorationist at the UCLA Film & Television Archive, his restorations include Charles Burnett's "Killer of Sheep", Kent Mackenzie's "The Exiles", "The Times of Harvey Milk", and works by Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, Shirley Clarke, Kenneth Anger, Barbara Loden, Robert Altman, Bruce Conner, and John Cassavetes. Lipman's films have screened internationally and been collected by museums and institutions including the Oberhausen Kurzfilm Archive, Budapest's Balazs Bela Studios, The Academy Film Archive, and the Anthology Film Archives. His documentary feature "Notfilm" (2015) premiered at the London International Film Festival. Lipman’s writings on film history, technology, and aesthetics have been published in Artforum, Sight and Sound, and numerous academic books and journals. His most recent live documentary, "The Exploding Digital Inevitable on Bruce Conner’s Crossroads", premiered in 2017 at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and was screened at the 2018 edition of DOKUARTS.