In the late 1960s and early ‘70s, Anglo-American experimental cinema pursued a shift of artistic strategies marked by an increased foregrounding of filmic materials, a minimization of referential content, and more stripped-down structures. In the dominant narratives concerning these movements—variously known as Structural Film, New Formal Film, or Structuralist/Materialist Film—critics and scholars have argued that these minimalist film practices were virtually absolute in their eschewal of expressive or personal content. However, this article contests the formalist reductionism of this prevailing interpretation by arguing that many key films of the period, including canonical works by Paul Sharits, Hollis Frampton, and Malcolm Le Grice, retain potent traces of autobiography, affect, and diaristic recollection.

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