Experimental Cinema


In this course students will contact with different cinematographies and artistic approaches in order to better understand the practice of experimental cinema, its history, taking into account its most varied aspects and ramifications. In this course students will develop skills to strengthen their personal projects by providing a broad reflection and discussion around exepriemental cinema highlighting its formal problematics and the social and political issues that motivate each work.With this course, students are expected to strengthen their personal projects through a broad reflection and discussion on the origins of experimental cinema and its relations with social and political issues. We will discuss new contemporary cinema strategies taking into account languages, narratives, mechanisms of perception, the construction of space / time, the document and fiction, the appropriation of the archive, the representation of "the other" and "self".

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Catarina Caldas de Figueiredo Mendes Mourão


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 280

Teaching language



Not applicable.


  • BELLOUR, R., La Querelle des Dispositifs, Paris, P.O.L., 2012;
  • BERGER, John, 2001 “Selected Essays” Bloomsbury Publishing;
  • BRESSON, R. (1975) Notas sobre o cinematógrafo, Porto, Sudoeste, 2003. CORRIGAN, Timothy 2011 “The Essay Film, From Montaigne, After Marker” Oxford University Press;
  • FRAMPTON Hollis. 2009 On the camera arts and Consecutive Matters ed JENKINS Bruce, Cambridge: MIT Press;
  • MACDONALD, Scott. A Critical Cinema: Interviews with Independent Filmmakers. 5 vols. Berkeley: University of California Press,1988–2005;
  • MACIEL, K. (org.). 2009. “Transcinemas”. Rio de Janeiro: Contra-capa;
  • REES, A.L. [et ai.] (eds), Expanded cinema: art, performance, film. Londres, Tate, 2011;
  • SHAW, J., WEIBEL, P. (ed), Future Cinema: the Cinematic Imaginary after Film, Karlsruhe: ZKM; Londres:MIT Press, 2003;
  • RUSSELL, Catherine. 1999 “Experimental Ethnography” Duke University Press Durham London.

Teaching method

Experimental Cinema works in a seminar regime, with a tutorial perspective. The critical debate of the projects is promoted in joint sessions and each of the students' practical work is discussed within its own specificity. The classes integrates the analysis of works by artists / filmmakers, as well as the debate of practical work carried out by students within the field of audiovisual artistic creation. A practical exercise will be launched in the context of the films viewed and discussed. The goal of this exercise is to play and question the conventions of film language and through this experiment develop new perspectives on the way we see and positions ourselves in the world. Sometimes we will visit exhibitions, and watch films in cinemas and festival or filmmakers will be invited into the classroom. 

Evaluation method

Development of a practical exercise.(60%), Oral participation.(40%)

Subject matter

This curricular unit articulates theory and practice and seeks, through practical exercises, to reflect on new contemporary cinematic practices and the films

presented in class. The films viewed in class will trigger the students 'practical experiences, other times it will be the students' experiences, and the field of experimentation that may interest them which will lead us to revisit works of artists relevant to the discussion.

Specific themes which will be discussed:

  • Origins of experimental cinema;

  • The question of time: acceleration and deceleration, conveying a new way of experiencing cinema from the spectator's point of view;

  • The question of perception;

  • New narratives;

  • The autobiographical question;

  • The appropriation/manipulation of the archive.