SELECTED COMMENTS


on the works of Ross Lipman

"one of the most original essay film artists now working in the U.S. I don't know another body of work even remotely similar to his. ”
-- Thom Andersen, filmmaker/historian

“I… see Lipman as a re-worked version of what Manny Farber called a “Termite Artist”. As opposed to the “White Elephant” artist, who announces his or her presence, or ego-based pronouncements at every opportunity, he pursues hidden realms within overlooked pockets of culture and society. To veer from Farber’s original conception, Lipman finds big-game, capital “M” Meaning in his explorations, though it’s circled around delicately, and never gauchely consumed... All of his work as a creative artist or restorationist is possessed of a sense of the transience of things (whether material or moments in time), the passing of cultural memory, and a romance with the marginal. As heavy as what I’ve just laid down is, you can also tell from what’s discussed above there’s a crucial poetic zaniness running throughout his sensibility, just enough to lighten and render delectable what is a very complex layer-cake, indeed…”
-- Brecht Andersch, curator, Film On Film Foundation; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

"Lipman’s films are wonderful. …strong and delicate at the same time; it’s unique."
-- Nicole Brenez, curator, Cinémathèque Française

on The Exploding Digital Inevitable

"THE EXPLODING DIGITAL INEVITABLE is the ideal way to encounter one of the very best films in the history of cinema, Bruce Conner's CROSSROADS."
-- Erika Balsom, author, Exhibiting Cinema in Contemporary Art- Erika Balsom

"The masterful preservation of CROSSROADS is a wonder to behold, and THE EXPLODING DIGITAL INEVITABLE adds to the meditative spectacle. Lipman's live performance essay is riveting, and feels more essential than ever in the current moment."
-- Jennifer Peterson, author, Education in the School of Dreams

"I found myself reeling in the 'after-cloud' of THE EXPLODING DIGITAL INEVITABLE. Live-cinema can morph and this notion made it resonate on a whole other level. It opened my mind to what cinema can be."
-- Karissa Hahn, filmmaker

on Notfilm. (early comments. for later press, full reviews, interviews and articles click here )

"A two hour documentary film about a half hour film sounds ridiculous, but not if the film is Samuel Beckett's Film. The confluence of Beckett, Buster Keaton and Alan Schneider is joined by Ross Lipman, who functions here as a cultural archaeologist of the highest order. Notfilm joins the very short list of great movies about the movies."
-- Scott Eyman, historian and author, Ernst Lubitsch, Laughter in Paradise

"I am lost in admiration for this work... the film is ambitious, thrilling and illuminating. It represents an invaluable addition to Beckett scholarship. NOTFILM is a superb film."
-- James Knowlson, OBE (Beckett's authorized biographer and founder of the Samuel Beckett Archive)

"Notfilm is a definitive documentary account of the making of Samuel Beckett's only film work and a brilliant examination of its significance in relation to Beckett's dramatic works and to film theory. Lipman very persuasively and masterfully shows Film's continuing importance."
-- Jonathan Rosenbaum, film critic

"An outstandingly good movie, accomplished in every way... crisp and/or allusive as needed, and with such awareness of the visual dynamics. This level of accomplishment is rare." "
-- Patrick Gleeson, composer/synthesist

"A great film. It has broken into new territory."
-- James Scott, Oscar winning director, A Shocking Accident

on The Book of Paradise Has no Author

…a marvelous de-construction of ethnographic accounts of the Tasaday. Was just totally brilliant!”
-- Craig Baldwin, filmmaker/curator – Other Cinema

"...in (a) nimble script, Lipman explores the issues with economy, clarity and a poetic touch. Images of ancient and modern cultures are contrasted -- both illustrating the controversy over the alleged cave-dwelling Tasaday and illuminating Lipman's own philosophy that we're all in a truth-seeking tribe."
-- Victoria Ellison, LA Weekly

“Wonderful.”
-- Jeffrey Skoller, filmmaker/author of Shadows, Specters, Shards: Making History in Avant-Garde Film

“A wonderful essay film.”
-- Adele Horne, award-winning director of The Tailenders

on Keep Warm Britain! (in progress)

"Lipman’s intriguing filmed memoir of a squatting community in East London’s Docklands reveals his skillful maneuvering of visual language — a precise yet mysterious journey thru time and space. Recommended.”
-- Debra Levine, arts•meme


on The Interview

“Like Ozu and Bresson, Lipman evokes a hidden spirituality in the everyday, mystery within the concrete. A fully realized work about marginal people, made outside the margins of what people understand as cinema.”
-- Brecht Andersch, curator, Film on Film Foundation

“I loved The Interview, a very moving piece. I saw it probably two months ago but still remember not only the film itself, but many images. The style is very powerful, and the acting too. It is a beautiful work. “
-- Marina Goldovskaya, filmmaker

“exquisitely rendered in muted colors, and a soundtrack worthy of comparison to Bresson's best. Under Lipman’s direction, Babette Mangolte creates a muted atmosphere with her lighting and framing which is further enhanced by subtle color shifts affected by Lipman in the lab. The result is a psychological study of a tense moment of transition. The film is the fruit and marriage of Lipman’s earlier portrait and collage investigations with his knowledge of the film medium.”
-- Konrad Steiner, filmmaker; curator, Kino 21

“Haunting. Beautifully shot in muted, forgotten colors, this modest and unsettling short fuses repetitive dialogue, deliberately stiff performances, and an evanescent story line to create a curious and affecting work of art that plants its sly social critique so delicately that some will not notice it at all. Highly recommended.”
--Theresa Schwartzman, Venice International Film Festival

“a delicate flower of a film, but also a horror film”
-- Berenice Reynaud, critic

“a beautiful piece”
-- Gail Silva, Director, Film Arts Foundation

 
on Rhythm 93

“quite possibly a work of genius” -- John Columbus, Director, Black Maria Film Festival

“how lovely to see a film that’s been shot and edited, and refers to life beyond the confines of cinema—these essential qualities are absent in virtually all contemporary work”
-- Nathaniel Dorsky, filmmaker, author, Devotional Cinema


on 10-17-88

“uses deft optical printing and a fascinating musical collage to yield a densely layered combo of sound and image”
-- Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader “Critic’s Choice”


on Ross Lipman’s restoration work

“Now that the restorations have been screened and the DVDs released, it's time to rain praise on Lipman. Not only has he directed his and UCLA's attention toward Anger and Charles Burnett — two filmmakers whose non-Hollywood artistry would have deteriorated and vanished otherwise — he's delivered superb restorations that will change the way you see classic works.”
-- Johnny Ray Huston, San Francisco Bay Guardian

“I would argue that he is doing some of the most important and thankless work in the film world, and as someone who has had the pleasure of seeing several of his major restorations projected in a cinema, I can attest to the remarkable difference he has made with the titles he has worked on - not only restoring them from all possible states of degradation, but preserving them for future generations.”
-- Joe Beres, curator, Walker Arts Center


On Wanda

"Wanda is one of the most gorgeous restorations I've ever seen; so clearly done with a sense of purpose and love. It was the difference between the film being "interesting" and "important" and being something absolutely extraordinary and (I've heard from a few students) life changing”
-- Gary Mairs, filmmaker/historian


On The Exiles

"a staggeringly beautiful restoration”
-- Jonathan Rosenbaum, cinema scope

“a hero to believers in true independent moviemaking”
-- Wesley Morris, Boston Globe


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