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image: SPACY by Takashi Ito

This week MUBI Notebook features an eloquent review of the 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival written by film critic Michael Sicinski.

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Ann Arbor Film Festival, which would be a milestone for any cinema-related event in the U.S. But for a festival that has carved out a niche in the area of experimental and avant-garde film and video, AAFF's achievement is especially noteworthy. Even within the rarefied realm of cinephilia, the avant-garde tends to be something on the margins, or even in the best of circumstances (e.g., the Rotterdam, New York, or Toronto film festivals) one part of a much larger whole. So the fact that Ann Arbor and its intrepid citizens have continued to support this strange little festival, and all the bizarre films the festival has thrown their way over the years, speaks very highly of both the town and the festival founders and organizers.

Read the full article on MUBI.

Sicinski emphasizes what a rare opportunity it was to screen contemporary works alongside archival and historical works from the festival's five decades of exhibition. He specifically points to the two Japanese Avant Garde programs presented and co-curated by AAFF Program Director David Dinnell and filmmaker Tomonari Nishikawa.

Download the program notes for the two Japanese Programs SPACE/TIME and IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS.

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