Named after the experimental film classic by Len Lye, Free Radicals is an informative yet above all passionate film essay, as well as a fine introduction to the world of avant-garde film.
Son of a filmmaker, and a long term promoter and producer of experimental film himself, Pip Chodorov delivers a very personal introduction to the legacy of Stan Brakhage, Robert Breer, Jonas Mekas, Ken Jacobs, Peter Kubelka and other ‘heavyweights’ of avant-garde cinema. The approach is very direct, with lively interviews, lots of archival footage, and a perspective that goes back to the earliest years of the movement.
Using a range of different film formats along the way, Chodorov sketches out the genealogy of avant-garde filmmaking in a playful, yet ultimately very accessible documentary that aims to transmit this legacy to a new audience. His respect for the masters is demonstrated by including entire films such as Robert Breer’s Recreation, Brakhage’s Existence is Song and the short film that gives the documentary its title: Len Lye’s Free Radicals.