Re: looking for good intro text

From: Jonathan Walley (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Dec 04 2009 - 05:34:59 PST


Unfortunately, this sounds like those books you "invented" some months
back on Frameworks. This is a text we desperately need but don't have.
Following up on what Adam said, David James's book Allegories of
Cinema pays a fair amount of attention not just to aesthetics but the
other facets of experimental film culture you're looking for. However,
the book really only covers the 60s and 70s, explores a much broader
range of filmmaking (including documentary and porn), and, in my
opinion, isn't exactly written in a user-friendly, introductory style.
James's collections of essays on Jonas, To Free the Cinema, contains
some very good pieces on the formation of institutions of the American

While I'm pretty sure there isn't a book-length study like this, you
might be able to piece one together, so to speak, from different
sources, such as James's books, certain interviews from Scott
MacDonald's A Critical Cinema series (e.g. Ken Jacobs, who of course
was very important in the founding of Millennium and the Living Cinema
Collective), selections from Jan-Christopher Horak's collection Lovers
of Cinema, about pre-WWII American experimental filmmaking, and
others. If Jim Kreul is still on this list, he might have some
suggestions, too - his work has focused on the organization of artists
and the formation of distribution and exhibition networks.

This is an incomplete list, but hopefully useful. Again, this is a
text we need. Indeed, I don't even think we have a good single
introductory text just on the aesthetics of avant-garde film/video,
much less one that also incorporates the institutional history you seek.


Jonathan Walley
Assistant Professor
Department of Cinema
Denison University
Granville, Ohio
email suppressed

On Dec 3, 2009, at 10:25 PM, Bernard Roddy wrote:

> Greetings, frameworkers:
> Can anyone think of an introductory text that combines a history of
> experimental film and video IN THE U.S. with a strong discussion of
> the history of artists' organizing, writing, and distribution IN THE
> US?
> For Great Britain there's David Curtis' A History of Artists' Film
> and Video in Britain. This has the distinct advantage of combining
> film and video art criticism with strong (and introductory) writing
> about the social history behind production, distribution, and
> critical reception. It includes discussion of "little magazines,"
> the "schooling" of film artists, institutional support for artists'
> work in film such as the Experimental Film Fund and the Arts
> Council, as well as issues motivating and confronting artists'
> organizations like the London Filmmakers' Co-op.
> I'd love to find something like this for the U.S. It would include
> a history of things like Canyon Cinema and the Film-Makers' Co-op,
> Cinema 16 and Anthology Film Archives, in addition to offering a
> critical context for student work.
> Thanks in advance.
> Bernie
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.