Well, I've been attempting to explore the large and fascinating world of avant-garde film I've decided its really difficult to find and try to watch all good films by period, so I'm just going to try and stick with a few good directors from each era. So far my exploits have consisted of Luis Bunuel(pretend there's a tilde), Jean Cocteau and Man Ray(what a name). I enjoyed all of the films I saw so far far different reasons, though most of them have to do with innovation in the cinematography.
Just for reference, I have watched(all French so far, unsurprisingly):
la Ballet Mecaniste
le Sang d'un Poete (this was probably my favorite)
L'Etoile de Mer
At some point I'll move past the title "The ___ of ____".
I'm trying to decide who I should focus on next. It looks as though Bunuel does work for a long time, up into the 80s it looks like. There's also Stan Brakhage and Kenneth Anger who have already piqued my interest just by descriptions of their work, but that's leaving a pretty big time gap. Those are both from the sixties. I still wanted to try and do this chronologically. Perhaps I should try to find more films directed by Orson Welles? I don't know that his work is particularly experimental. I suppose the story for The Trial was a bit more abstract, but I don't know that he made it habit. Same goes for Alfred Hitchcock. Even though he didn't start off as a "Hollywood" director, I can't say whether he was avant-garde or not; I haven't really watched anything of his. I suppose that's part of my problem in this, I'm just going in blind. I have no background in film, really, aside from the basic concepts I learned in that ethnicity class and the theatre stuff I know. I guess I'll just start watching what little I have compiled, and hopefully that will take me down different paths and I'll stumble onto something magnificent by accident. That's sort of how I got started.