Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023


Introduction – Will Hindle was a groundbreaking avant-garde filmmaker who produced a significant body of work in the 1960s and 1970s. His films were experimental, poetic, and deeply personal, exploring themes such as memory, identity, and human experience. Despite the artistic merit of his work, Hindle’s films were not always well-received by critics during his lifetime. This article aims to examine the critical reception of Hindle’s films, and consider how his work has been reassessed in recent years.

Early Reception

Early Reception

During the 1960s, Hindle’s films were shown at various experimental film festivals and venues, where they were often praised for their innovative techniques and poetic sensibility. However, mainstream critics were less enthusiastic about Hindle’s work, and often dismissed it as obscure and inaccessible. For example, in a review of Hindle’s film Rayday Film (1968), film critic John Simon described the film as “an exercise in the abstract and the indecipherable”.

Year Film Critic Quote
1968 Rayday Film John Simon “an exercise in the abstract and the indecipherable”
1970 Go! Go! Go! J. Hoberman “a full-throttle sensory assault”
1972 Chinese Firedrill Pauline Kael “an anarchic, exuberant, and self-indulgent film”

Reassessment in the 21st Century

In recent years, Hindle’s work has been rediscovered and reevaluated by a new generation of critics and filmmakers. Many have praised Hindle’s films for their experimental techniques and unique artistic vision. For example, filmmaker and critic Mark Rappaport has described Hindle’s work as “a triumph of the imagination and a celebration of the possibilities of cinema”. Similarly, film scholar P. Adams Sitney has noted that Hindle’s films “transcend the limitations of traditional narrative cinema, and offer a unique and compelling vision of the world”.

One factor that has contributed to the reassessment of Hindle’s work is the growing interest in avant-garde cinema and experimental film. As more scholars and critics have begun to explore this area of cinema, they have recognized the significance of Hindle’s contributions to the field. Additionally, the availability of Hindle’s films on DVD and online platforms has made it easier for audiences to access and appreciate his work.


The critical reception of Will Hindle’s avant-garde films has been complex and varied. While some critics dismissed his work as obscure and inaccessible, others recognized its artistic merit and innovative techniques. In recent years, Hindle’s films have been reassessed and recognized as important contributions to the field of experimental cinema. As more audiences discover his work, it is likely that Hindle’s legacy as a visionary filmmaker will continue to grow.

By Diana Lee Whatley

A passionate biographer, skillfully captures the vibrant life and artistic journey of William Mayo Hindle, the legendary filmmaker and professor

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