2. Antonin Artaud

Born in 1896 (died 1948), Artaud is one of the most unusual artists of the 20th century. He wrote poetry that was banned by the French government, assisted in some of the most bizarre films in history, and even wrote music. He had a small part in the film The Passion of Joan of Arc (hailed as the film with the most emotional performance ever captured on film by Maria Falconetti). I found this little excerpt with Artaud’s name attached. I have no idea what the hell it is supposed to be - but believe me, it is freakish and definitely earns top spot!

3. Rabbits and the Idol

This is a very strange animated short film. I think there is a moral to the story - I am not sure what it is!

4. Krzysztof Penderecki

The Threnody ot the Victims of Hisoshima is an incredibly emotional piece of music by this great Polish composer. The music is gut wrenching and horrifying. You can hear the screams of the victims. If you like this, check out the Black Angels by George Crumb - an American composer - which deals with the Vietnam war in a similar style of music. If this doesn’t move you, you lack emotion!

5. Georges Antheil

Antheil, an American composer, wrote this score to accompany a dadaist film. This piece of ballet music which is impossible to play in full, is set to a film by Fernand Léger (1881 - 1955). Strangely, it was not until the 1990s that the film and score were brought together. The film and music is a masterful example of the movement. It is hard to believe that this is from the 1920s, nearly 100 years ago. Here is the Ballet Mécanique (with plane propellers and various other strange instruments). This is Antheil’s most famous work.

6. Salvador Dali

Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog) is a great example of surrealist film. Dali is well known for his art, but this is a film he was involved in with Luis Bunuel in the 1920’s. His foray into film was quite extraordinary and this film is very famous in surrealist art circles. Fabulously french music, fabulously odd cinematography. Watch for the scalpel in the eyeball - quite a feat for its time! Also note the rather obscene (for its time) handling of the ladies bosom. This the complete film (which has no plot).

7. Brion Gysin

Gysin (born 1916, died 1986) was a great friend of William Burroughs. He invented the Cut-ups technique (1959). One of his most important discoveries was the dreamachine - essentially a spinning cylinder with various holes cut in to it which - when viewed with the eyes closed - caused one to see a variety of hallucinations. I should add that this was invented under the influence of drugs (are we surprised?) If you want to try it, here is a web based dream machine - click start and close your eyes.

8. David Lynch

Starring the gorgeous ladies from Mullholand Drive, (Naomi Watts, and Laura Harring), the Rabbits is a short film cum excerpt of Lynch’s latest film Inland Empire. Nonsense dialogue, minimalist sets, and eerie music make this a truly unusual experience. Use this link to part 1 to see the rest of the rabbits (the last scene is not available online and can only be seen in the film). You must forgive my bias - David Lynch is my favourite director.

9. William Burroughs

The Cut Ups is a film by Burroughs and Balch. It uses the cut-ups style invented by Brion Gysin but made famous by Burrous (especially in his masterful book Naked Lunch). I can’t even begin to describe this film - just believe me, it is weird. Hereinunder you get the full 20 minute short film by (perhaps) the greatest writer of the 20th century.

10. John Cage

Cage is one of the most forward thinking composers of the 20th century. This is a video of a performance of the piece of music that is probably his most famous. It is called 4′33″ (ie, four minutes and thirty-three seconds). The idea behind this piece is that we are constantly surrounded by music in every day life. At the risk of spoiling the surprise, this is an orchestra playing silence in three movements for 4 and a half minutes. I won’t go into the issue of the pretention of the audience (watch it - you will see what I mean) but it is quite amazing to see an entire orchestra get paid to play nothing at all. Weird.

Source: www.listverse.com