Remodernist film

Remodernist film developed in the United States and the United Kingdom in the early 21st century with ideas related to those of the international art movement Stuckism and its manifesto, Remodernism. Key figures are Jesse Richards and Peter Rinaldi.

Remodernist Film
Shooting at the Moon remodernist
Jesse Richards and Nicholas Watson. Shooting at the Moon. A still from an early Super-8 Remodernist film.
Years active2004 - present
CountryUnited States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Iran
Major figuresJesse Richards, Harris Smith, Peter Rinaldi
InfluencesDIY culture, Stuckism, No Wave Cinema, French Impressionist Cinema, Bela Tarr, Andrei Tarkovsky, American independent film [1] [2]

Manifesto and philosophy

On August 27, 2008, Jesse Richards published a 15-point Remodernist Film Manifesto, calling for a "new spirituality in cinema", use of intuition in filmmaking, as well as describing the remodernist film as being a "stripped down, minimal, lyrical, punk kind of filmmaking". Point 4 is:

The Japanese ideas of wabi-sabi (the beauty of imperfection) and mono no aware (the awareness of the transience of things and the bittersweet feelings that accompany their passing), have the ability to show the truth of existence, and should always be considered when making the remodernist film.

There are also several polemic statements made in the manifesto that criticize Stanley Kubrick, filmmakers that shoot on digital video, as well as Dogme 95.[3] In December, 2008, Turkish film magazine Bakiniz translated the manifesto into Turkish and soon after Polish magazine Red translated it into Polish.[4]

Remodernist film calls for a return to emotional and spiritual meaning in cinema, as well as an emphasis on new ideas of narrative structure and subjectivity. Elements of No Wave Cinema,[5] French New Wave, punk film, expressionist, spiritual and transcendental filmmaking, as well as Antonin Artaud's ideas on the Theatre of Cruelty helped lead to this new film movement.[6] They champion the works of Andrei Tarkovsky, Yasujirō Ozu, Robert Bresson, Jean Rollin, Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean Vigo, Amos Poe, Jean Epstein and Nicholas Ray among others, as well as Bela Tarr's film Satantango and Jean-Luc Godard's Hail Mary.[6][7]


The idea of Stuckism in relation to filmmaking and photography started 2001 when Jesse Richards and Nicholas Watson began releasing work as The New Haven Stuckists Film Group. On March 8, 2008 their film Shooting at the Moon made its London premiere at Horse Hospital during its FLIXATION Underground Cinema Club event. Remodernist Film and Photography was founded by Richards and Smith in 2004.

Films later seen as Remodernist included Youngblood (1995) by Harris Smith, Shooting at the Moon (1998–2003) by Jesse Richards and Nicholas Watson, and Medway Bus Ride (1999) by Wolf Howard.[4]

Amos Poe is part of the movement,[8][9] which he said was "just a bunch of kids."[8] He said in 2008:

I guess remodernist is the next variation of post-modernist, which is to take something that was in the culture before and then turn it into something else, like taking it out of context. So it's kind of what pop art was in a way. I was using Warhol as kind of a soup can. It's like redoing that but it's done in a completely remodernist way because it's using the technology and the sensibility of contemporary rather than nostalgia.[8]

In late August, 2009, an International Alliance of Remodernist Filmmakers was started by Jesse Richards in order to promote discussion and collaboration amongst those following the manifesto. The filmmakers include Jesse Richards, Harris Smith, Christopher Michael Beer, Dmitri Trakovsky, Kate Shults, Peter Rinaldi and Khurrem Gold of America, Roy Rezaali of Holland, Rouzbeh Rashidi of Iran and Dean Kavanagh of Ireland.[10]

In October, 2009, with the intention "to further develop and explain Remodernist film concepts", a series of articles by Jesse Richards, Peter Rinaldi and Roy Rezaali were published in the magazine MungBeing.[11]

Richards said, "Remodernism rejected Postmodernism for its 'failure to answer or address any important issues of being a human being'", and that Remodernism is "about seeking truth, establishing meaningful connections" and "addressing the shadow".[12]

In his essay Concepts and Craft in Remodernist Film, Richards said that Remodernist film craft "embraces the amateur", involves the idea of filmmakers "teaching themselves to paint pictures, to try acting in their own movies and those of others (especially if they are shy), to be nude models for other artists, to meditate, worship if they are religious, to do things that affect their levels of consciousness, try things that make them nervous or uncomfortable, to go out and be involved in life, to find adventure, to jump in the ocean. I think that is the exploration of craft".[13]

The article explains the differences between modernist, post-modernist and remodernist cinema, describing Robert Bresson and Andrei Tarkovsky as "early Remodernist filmmakers", and notes films that make emphasis of "small moments", including Bela Tarr's film Satantango, "...every moment of the film Satantango is a good example of this kind of exploration of "moments"- the film starts with a ten-minute shot following cows coming out of a barn and wandering around a run-down agriculture collective. These kinds of moments are all but ignored in most examples of modern cinema, and that's a terrible, terrible thing".

Richards says of Remodernist filmmaking:

I believe that the most effective way to really make subjective and authentic work involves an "addressing of the shadow" (as Billy Childish and Charles Thomson have described it). Now what does this mean exactly? It might mean that you are really obsessed with pubic hair, or maybe you are really embarrassed by a physical or mental disability that you try to hide, or like Billy Childish, you were abused as a child. These things, these "shadows" that we are hiding within ourselves, need to be brought forth into the light of day - in our films, in our work, in our poetry.[6]

In another article, entitled A Quick Primer and History, Richards relaxes the criticism in the manifesto against digital video, noting that it can "have a place in Remodernist cinema" but that it should be given a new language, and that it currently "mimic(s) film". The article also broadens the aim of the movement, explaining the common bond among Remodernist filmmakers being a search for truth, knowledge, authenticity and spirituality in their work, but having different approaches on achieving that goal.[14]

Peter Rinaldi, analyzes the manifesto and shares his "personal thoughts" on it in his essay, The Shore as seen from The Deep Sea. Particularly, he defends the criticism of digital and later of Stanley Kubrick, saying first, "for the most part, the ‘easiness’ of video has led to degradation in the images created",[15] and:

I think, for the most part, the generation that I grew up in had Kubrick as their Giant. His work has a mystical "perfectionism" that is awe-inspiring at times. This perfectionism is anathema to the Remodernist mentality and for many healthy reasons, this giant (or whatever giant towers over your work) must fall in our minds. We must become the giant.[6]

The rest of the article draws direct connections between ideas in the manifesto and some Christian and Buddhist teachings.[6]

In June 2010, after publishing a letter from Richards about the Remodernist Film Manifesto on his site,[16] film critic Roger Ebert tweeted, "Much discussed on serious film blogs: The Remodernist Film Manifesto. Lars von Trier, get out of town".[17]

In Passing, Feature-length collaboration

In February 2010, the Australian film magazine Filmink announced the forthcoming production of a compilation feature film being made by members of the Remodernist film movement, which the magazine says "recalls art movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries which saw artists attempting to strive toward artistic freedom and authenticity". The film, which will consist of ten-minute pieces by various members of the film movement "from around the globe", is scheduled to premiere in December, 2010 in New York. Participating filmmakers include: Peter Rinaldi, Kate Shults, Rouzbeh Rashidi, Dean Kavanagh, Roy Rezaali, Heidi Beaver and Christopher Michael Beer. Richards' Remodernist Film Manifesto "forms the basis" of the joint project.[18]

The film's premiere was announced for November 13, 2011 at the Quad Cinemas in New York City.[19]

In the November 2011 print edition of Filmink, film scholar, critic and programmer Jack Sargeant wrote about the movement and In Passing, referring to the movement as "the new personal cinema" and describing the evolution of "lyrical cinema" from the work of Andrei Tarkovsky, Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch, Bela Tarr and through to the Remodernist filmmakers.

Sargeant goes onto describe In Passing:

The film is neither a fully experimental work, nor a movie fixated on classic narrative; rather, In Passing explores the passing of time and the relation of time to cinematic space. Often focusing on intimate yet small details – the table top exploration of a crustacean, the patter of rain on a window, cats at play, the ocean shot from a moving car, a couple looking into a camera knowing that the film they are making will fail – and finding something lyrically poignant and even personal within these transient moments. There are scenes in which people seem to vanish, no longer seen onscreen, yet the space they once occupied still resonates with their echoes, moving through the poetic sublime.In common with Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch and Gus Van Sant, and films like Meek's Cutoff, there is a sense of homesickness to the films that make up In Passing. This sense of homesickness is not necessarily rooted in a sense of being away from home, but in the sense that even at home, the protagonists are still searching for their place within the day-to-day world.[20]

Examples of Remodernist films

See also


  1. ^ The Remodernist Film Manifesto|LettersRoger
  2. ^ MungBeing Magazine: Craft » page 32
  3. ^ "Remodernist Film Manifesto", When The Trees Were Still Real, August 27, 2008 Retrieved September 1, 2008
  4. ^ a b "The Remodernist Film Manifesto", Bakiniz, December 28, 2008 Retrieved December 28, 2008
  5. ^ Kallay, Jasmina. "Tales from the Blank Generation", Film Ireland. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Remodernist Film", MungBeing, October 4, 2009 Retrieved October 9, 2009
  7. ^ "Interview with Remodernist Filmmaker Jesse Richards", Bakiniz, December 28, 2008 Retrieved December 28, 2008
  8. ^ a b c Bremer, Erin (April 2008). "New York Observers", City Magazine, pp. 42–43. Retrieved February 1, 2010. Also on Archived 2010-07-14 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Rassegna cinematografica un New Yorker : il cinema di Amos Poe.", Alcinema, 14 April 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2010. From the Italian: "Retrospettiva completa dedicata al regista newyorkese Amos Poe. Da Blank Generation a Empire II, dal CBGB's all'Empire State Building, un viaggio nella New York underground, i suoi volti e i suoi luoghi, in 30 anni di produzione cinematografica. Punk, No wave, documentario e Tv sperimentale fino al recente movimento del Remodernist film, il percorso di un autore che ha segnato il nuovo cinema americano."
  10. ^ Richards, Jesse. "International Alliance of Remodernist Filmmakers", When the Trees Were Still Real, August 25, 2009. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
  11. ^ "Remodernist Film Manifesto", When The Trees Were Still Real, August 27, 2008 Retrieved October 4, 2009
  12. ^ "Remodernist Film", MungBeing, October 4, 2009 Retrieved March 10, 2009
  13. ^ "Remodernist Film", MungBeing, October 4, 2009 Retrieved October 5, 2009
  14. ^ "Remodernist Film", MungBeing, October 4, 2009 Retrieved October 5, 2009
  15. ^ "Remodernist Film", MungBeing, October 4, 2009 Retrieved October 5, 2009
  16. ^ "The Remodernist Film Manifesto",, June 9, 2010 Retrieved June 11, 2010
  17. ^ "Much discussed on serious film blogs: The Remodernist Film Manifesto", Roger Ebert (ebertchicago) on Twitter, June 10, 2010 Retrieved June 11, 2010
  18. ^ "Cinema with soul", Filmink, February 25, 2010 Archived March 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved February 28, 2010
  19. ^ [1] Retrieved November 8, 2011
  20. ^ Jack Sargeant (November 2011), "The New Personal Cinema: From Lyrical Film to Remodernism", from: Filmink November, 2011. Available online at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-25. Retrieved 2014-05-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links

Amos Poe

Amos Poe is an American New York City-based director and screenwriter, described by The New York Times as a "pioneering indie filmmaker."

Closure of Catharsis

Closure of Catharsis is a British-Irish Experimental film directed by Rouzbeh Rashidi that tells the visual story of a man who sits on a park bench talking to the camera, trying to weave together a thought that won't cohere while commenting on passers-by, his 'guests'... Mysterious images intervene, overturning the serenity of the park-bench monologue.

DIY ethic

DIY ethic is the ethic of self-sufficiency through completing tasks without the aid of a paid expert. The "do it yourself" (DIY) ethic promotes the idea that anyone is capable of performing a variety of tasks rather than relying on paid specialists.

The DIY ethic requires that the adherent seeks out the knowledge required to complete a given task. This ethic emerges in correspondence to the punk subculture, the DIY ethic is tied to punk ideology and anticonsumerism. Central to the ethic is the empowerment of individuals and communities, encouraging the employment of alternative approaches when faced with bureaucratic or societal obstacles to achieving their objectives.


Defastenism is a Remodernist art movement founded in Dublin in 2004. The Defastenists are also known as The Defastenist Party. Artists who have participated in it include Gary Farrelly, Pádraic E. Moore, Alexander Reilly, Liam Ryan, Sophie Iremonger and Nessa Darcy.

Dogme 95

Dogme 95 was a filmmaking movement started in 1995 by the Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, who created the "Dogme 95 Manifesto" and the "Vows of Chastity" (Danish: kyskhedsløfter). These were rules to create filmmaking based on the traditional values of story, acting, and theme, and excluding the use of elaborate special effects or technology. It was an attempt to take back power for the director as artist, as opposed to the studio. They were later joined by fellow Danish directors Kristian Levring and Søren Kragh-Jacobsen, forming the Dogme 95 Collective or the Dogme Brethren. Dogme (pronounced [ˈtɒwmə]) is the Danish word for dogma.

Granby, Massachusetts

Granby is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 6,240 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The census-designated place of Granby corresponds to the main village of Granby in the center of the town.

Harris Smith

Harris Smith may refer to:

Plaxico Burress, NFL player who used this name as an alias

Harris Smith (filmmaker), filmmaker and essayist, co-founder of Remodernist film

Harris Smith (filmmaker)

Harris Smith is a filmmaker, media critic and essayist from New York City. He is one of the founding members of the Remodernist film movement and was a participating member of the first comprehensive Remodernist exhibition in the United States, Addressing the Shadow and Making Friends with Wild Dogs: Remodernism.

Jesse Richards

Jesse Richards (born July 17, 1975) is a painter, filmmaker and photographer from New Haven, Connecticut and was affiliated with the international movement Stuckism. He has been described as "one of the most provocative names in American underground culture," and "the father of remodernist cinema."

List of punk films

This is a list of films about the punk subculture.

Nicholas Watson

Nicholas Watson (born July 9, 1977) is a writer and filmmaker. He co-founded the New Haven Stuckist art group.

Peter Rinaldi

Peter Rinaldi is an award-winning filmmaker and writer from New York, NY and is affiliated with the Remodernist film movement.In February 2010, the Australian film magazine Filmink announced Rinaldi's participation in a compilation feature film by the Remodernist film movement. The film is scheduled to premiere in New York in December 2010.In the 28th issue of MungBeing magazine, Rinaldi participated in a series of articles outlining Remodernist film concepts. He analyzed the manifesto and shared his "personal thoughts" on it in his essay, The Shore as seen from The Deep Sea. Particularly, he defends the criticism of digital and later of Stanley Kubrick, saying first, "for the most part, the "easiness" of video has led to degradation in the images created", and:

I think, for the most part, the generation that I grew up in had Kubrick as their Giant. His work has a mystical "perfectionism" that is awe-inspiring at times. This perfectionism is anathema to the Remodernist mentality and for many healthy reasons, this giant (or whatever giant towers over your work) must fall in our minds. We must become the giant.

The rest of the article draws direct connections between ideas in the manifesto and some Christian and Buddhist teachings.


Remodernism revives aspects of modernism, particularly in its early form, and follows postmodernism, to which it contrasts. Adherents of remodernism advocate it as a forward and radical, not reactionary, impetus.In 2000, Billy Childish and Charles Thomson, founders of the stuckism art movement instigated remodernism, with a manifesto, Remodernism in an attempt to introduce a period of new spirituality into art, culture and society to replace postmodernism, which they said was cynical and spiritually bankrupt. In 2002, a remodernism art show in Albuquerque was accompanied by an essay from University of California, Berkeley art professor, Kevin Radley, who said there was a renewal of artists working without the limitation of irony and cynicism, and that there was a renewal of the sense of beauty.

In 2006, the Stedelijk Museum and the University of Amsterdam held a talk on remodernism with Daniel Birnbaum and Alison Gingeras; the introduction to this talked of the revival of painting as a possible return to traditional modernist values, such as authenticity, self-expression and autonomy, as opposed to multimedia practice.

In 2008, London Evening Standard critic, Ben Lewis, applied the term to three Turner Prize nominees and saw them amongst a movement which was reviving the formalism of the early 20th century; he advocated values of an aesthetic informed by modesty, generosity and genuine emotion.

Rouzbeh Rashidi

Rouzbeh Rashidi (Persian: روزبه رشیدی; born 23 December 1980 – Tehran, Iran) is an Iranian avant-garde filmmaker associated with the Remodernist film movement.Rouzbeh Rashidi studied Media at Dublin Institute of Technology, and founded the Experimental Film Society in Tehran in 2000.

Shooting at the Moon (film)

Shooting at the Moon is a short Super-8 punk/Remodernist film directed by Jesse Richards and Nicholas Watson, starring Matthew Quinn Martin (billed as Matthew Martin) as Buddy and Leila Laaraj as Lana, and features music by Billy Childish. It was shot in the summer of 1998 and its final cut was completed in 2003. The film premiered at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival in November 2003. On March 8, 2008 the film made its London premiere at Horse Hospital during their FLIXATION Underground Cinema event.

Slow cinema

Slow cinema is a genre of art cinema film-making that emphasizes long takes, and is often minimalist, observational, and with little or no narrative. It is sometimes called "contemplative cinema". Examples include Ben Rivers' Two Years at Sea, Michelangelo Frammartino's Le Quattro Volte, and Shaun Wilson's film 51 Paintings.

Stuckist photographers

Stuckist Photographers are photographers who develop the values of the Stuckism art painting movement into film and photography. Some of them are in a group called the Stuckist Photographers.

Underground film

An underground film is a film that is out of the mainstream either in its style, genre, or financing.

Avant-garde movements
Visual art
Literature and poetry
Cinema and theatre
By style
By theme
By movement
or period
By demographic groups
By format,
or production

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.