Hollis Frampton

A Hollis Frampton Odyssey

A Hollis Frampton Odyssey

An icon of the American avant-garde, Hollis Frampton made rigorous, audacious, brainy, and downright thrilling films, leaving behind a body of work that remains unparalleled. In the 1960s, having already been a poet and a photographer, Frampton became fascinated with the possibilities of 16 mm filmmaking. In such radically playful and visually and sonically arresting works as Surface Tension, Zorns Lemma, (nostalgia), Critical Mass, and the enormous, unfinished Magellan cycle (cut short by his death at age forty-eight), Frampton repurposes cinema itself, making it into something by turns literary, mathematical, sculptural, and simply beautiful—and always captivating. This collection of works by the essential artist—the first release of its kind—includes twenty-four films, dating from 1966 to 1979.

Film Info

  • Hollis Frampton
  • United States
  • 266 minutes
  • Color
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  • Spine #607

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restorations of all twenty-four films, with uncompressed monaural audio on the sound films on the Blu-ray edition EARLY FILMS Manual of Arms (1966 • 17 minutes, 10 seconds • Black & White • Silent) Process Red (1966 • 3 minutes, 37 seconds • Color • Silent) Maxwell’s Demon (1968 • 3 minutes, 44 seconds • Color • Mono) Surface Tension (1968 • 9 minutes, 30 seconds • Color • Mono) Carrots & Peas (1969 • 5 minutes, 21 seconds • Color • Mono) Lemon (1969 • 7 minutes, 17 seconds • Color • Silent) Zorns Lemma (1970 • 59 minutes, 51 seconds • Color • Mono) FILMS FROM HAPAX LEGOMENA (nostalgia) (1971 • 36 minutes, 7 seconds • Black & White • Mono) Poetic Justice (1972 • 31 minutes, 28 seconds • Black & White • Silent) Critical Mass (1971 • 25 minutes, 11 seconds • Black & White • Mono) FILMS FROM MAGELLAN The Birth of Magellan The Birth of Magellan: Cadenza I (1977–1980 • 5 minutes, 41 seconds • Color • Mono) Straits of Magellan Pans 0–4 and 697–700 (1969–74 • 1-minute each • Color • Silent) INGENIVM NOBIS IPSA PVELLA FECIT, Part I (1975 • 4 minutes, 48 seconds • Color • Silent) Magellan: At the Gates of Death, Part I: The Red Gate 1, 0 (1976 • 5 minutes, 10 seconds • Color • Silent) Winter Solstice (1974 • 32 minutes, 36 seconds • Color • Silent) The Death of Magellan Gloria! (1979 • 9 minutes, 36 seconds • Color • Mono)
  • Audio commentary and remarks by filmmaker Hollis Frampton on selected works
  • Excerpted interview with Frampton from 1978
  • A Lecture, a performance piece by Frampton, recorded in 1968 with the voice of artist Michael Snow
  • Gallery of works from Frampton’s xerographic series By Any Other Name
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an introduction by film critic Ed Halter; essays and capsules on the films by Frampton scholars Bruce Jenkins, Ken Eisenstein, and Michael Zryd; and a piece by film preservationist Bill Brand
    New cover by Jason Hardy

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restorations of all twenty-four films, with uncompressed monaural audio on the sound films on the Blu-ray edition EARLY FILMS Manual of Arms (1966 • 17 minutes, 10 seconds • Black & White • Silent) Process Red (1966 • 3 minutes, 37 seconds • Color • Silent) Maxwell’s Demon (1968 • 3 minutes, 44 seconds • Color • Mono) Surface Tension (1968 • 9 minutes, 30 seconds • Color • Mono) Carrots & Peas (1969 • 5 minutes, 21 seconds • Color • Mono) Lemon (1969 • 7 minutes, 17 seconds • Color • Silent) Zorns Lemma (1970 • 59 minutes, 51 seconds • Color • Mono) FILMS FROM HAPAX LEGOMENA (nostalgia) (1971 • 36 minutes, 7 seconds • Black & White • Mono) Poetic Justice (1972 • 31 minutes, 28 seconds • Black & White • Silent) Critical Mass (1971 • 25 minutes, 11 seconds • Black & White • Mono) FILMS FROM MAGELLAN The Birth of Magellan The Birth of Magellan: Cadenza I (1977–1980 • 5 minutes, 41 seconds • Color • Mono) Straits of Magellan Pans 0–4 and 697–700 (1969–74 • 1-minute each • Color • Silent) INGENIVM NOBIS IPSA PVELLA FECIT, Part I (1975 • 4 minutes, 48 seconds • Color • Silent) Magellan: At the Gates of Death, Part I: The Red Gate 1, 0 (1976 • 5 minutes, 10 seconds • Color • Silent) Winter Solstice (1974 • 32 minutes, 36 seconds • Color • Silent) The Death of Magellan Gloria! (1979 • 9 minutes, 36 seconds • Color • Mono)
  • Audio commentary and remarks by filmmaker Hollis Frampton on selected works
  • Excerpted interview with Frampton from 1978
  • A Lecture, a performance piece by Frampton, recorded in 1968 with the voice of artist Michael Snow
  • Gallery of works from Frampton’s xerographic series By Any Other Name
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an introduction by film critic Ed Halter; essays and capsules on the films by Frampton scholars Bruce Jenkins, Ken Eisenstein, and Michael Zryd; and a piece by film preservationist Bill Brand
    New cover by Jason Hardy
A Hollis Frampton Odyssey

From The Current

A Hollis Frampton Odyssey: Nostalgia for an Age Yet to Come
A Hollis Frampton Odyssey: Nostalgia for an Age Yet to Come

Among the most widely seen photographs of Hollis Frampton is one of him as a young man, a self-portrait taken in 1959, if we are to trust the narration he composed to accompany its inclusion in his 1971 film (nostalgia). In the image, Frampton sits a…

By Ed Halter

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A Lecture
A Lecture

With a projector, a screen, some red cellophane, a pipe cleaner, and this script, you can re-create this performance piece by Hollis Frampton.

By Hollis Frampton

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A Hollis Frampton Slide Show in New York
A Hollis Frampton Slide Show in New York

Images by the avant-garde icon can be seen at Anthology Film Archives this weekend.

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Two and a Half Minutes of Surface Tension
Two and a Half Minutes of Surface Tension

This clip is the middle section of Hollis Frampton's Surface Tension (1968). In it, we see a sped-up journey from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park in New York City. Frampton considered the bridge (along with Stonehenge) to be "one of th…

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