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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Films Of James Broughton / Animal Charm

While other experimental filmmakers have explored the boundaries of cinema through formalist rigor and shock effects, from the '40s to the '80s, James Broughton, as he put it, "followed his weird," and celebrated the body in touchy-feely films that even now could confirm a lot of people's worst suspicions about abstract artists. The 17 shorts on the three-disc DVD set The Films Of James Broughton contain plenty of scenes where dolled-up young people flounce around outside in slow motion, while Broughton recites poetry about how we must all "discover our oases." But Broughton also dared to move people, which set him apart from his avant-garde contemporaries, and in films like his impressionist autobiography "Mother's Day" and his allegorical study of human relationships "The Bed," the images still burn with sincerity.

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