What is Cinema?

  • Directed by Chuck Workman
  • United States, 2013, 80 mins., English

Chuck Workman is best known for creating unforgettable Oscar montage sequences. In What is Cinema?, he shares his understanding and love of avant-garde cinematic language by creating a visual essay out of clips from films that have pushed the boundaries of the art form. Woven among them are new and archival interviews with a pantheon of personal filmmakers that provide food for thought on where cinema might be headed. Workman’s interview subjects include the likes of Mike Leigh, Jonas Mekas, Yvonne Rainer, David Lynch, video artist Bill Viola, Kelly Reichardt, Costa-Gavras, Ken Jacobs, and Michael Moore, who consider key artists from Chantal Akerman to Andy Warhol, along with vintage interviews with Robert Bresson, Alfred Hitchcock, Akira Kurosawa, and many others.

Genres: Experimental Documentary, Anthology

Other Films by Chuck Workman

Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Wells

“Oscar-winner Chuck Workman’s (famed for his Academy Award clip montages and iconic trailers) impressive, comprehensive documentary tells the tragic, extraordinary story of Orson Welles, a great filmmaking genius whose masterpieces were interspersed with films compromised by studio intervention or never completed at all. Workman tells Welles’s story through a wealth of interviews with the director

Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol

Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol

Weaving together varied, and often enigmatic, interviews with the artist shot over three decades, Workman surveys Warhol’s art and films along with interviews and appearances with such observers as Viva, Dennis Hopper, Roy Lichtenstein, Gerald Malanga, David Hockney, Taylor Mead and many more in the Warhol “family.” Taking no overt stand towards Warhol other than