Re: Looking for good intro text

From: Patrick Friel (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Dec 04 2009 - 12:41:36 PST

Well, thereıs no book on Chicago experimental/alternative film but Amy Beste
has been doing exhaustive research for her dissertation ­ which I hope would
become a book as well at some point. I think sheıs focusing heavily on the
kind of institutional and infrastructural elements Bernie refers to (film
societies, distribution organizations, etc.) but mainly in the 1950ıs and
60ıs. A more scattershot era for Chicago a-g film, which didnıt move into
full swing until the 70ıs.

Lacking the kind of inclusive, comprehensive U.S. a-g book Bernie describes
(which is much needed, though I donıt know who would take that kind of
project on), this growing focus on regional film is most welcome. Pittsburgh
and SUNY Buffalo have made it into print and more and more artists who never
made a huge national splash are starting to find more attention with
screenings, collecting, and preservation (Mark Toscano in particular
focusing attention on LA artists for preservation).

Here in Chicago, for example, the Chicago Film Archives is doing an amazing
job of collecting local productions ­ from documentaries (Chicago Newsreel,
etc), to home movies, amateur productions, industrial films, and
experimental works ­ and organizing periodic screenings; Amy Besteıs
research for her dissertation is also funneling into programming through the
Conversations at the Edge series she coordinates/curates: recently, for
example, she had two fascinating programs of work from the Institute of
Design from the 1940s-60s. My White Light Cinema series recently presented
a program of 1970s films by Bruce Wood and I screened Michelle Citronıs
DAUGHTER RITE last year; Chicago Filmmakers has preserved Allan Rossı THE
GRANDFATHER TRILOGY and eight films by Tom Palazzolo from the 1960s-80s
[these are available for screenings from CF if anyone is interested];
longtime television and media producer Tom Weinbergıs Media Burn project
( has been placing a ton of content online, though not
just Chicago-related material; former University of Chicago student Kyle
Westphal has written a history of Doc Films at the U of C (the longest
continuously running student film society in the US), though itıs not
published yet; and other things Iım sure Iım forgetting.

It would be good to hear of other activities from other places.

Patrick Friel

On 12/4/09 1:13 PM, "Adam Hyman" <email suppressed> wrote:

> If you add those (which would be useful) to David Jamesıs Most Typical
> Avant-Garde (which is eminently readable), and P. Adams books, still
> really wouldnıt have a full introductory institutional history of experimental
> exhibition in the United States.
> And then there is a book on the Bay Area coming perhaps next year...
> And then what about Chicago, Seattle, Boston, etc?
> A
> On 12/4/09 10:56 AM, "Jacob Waltman" <email suppressed> wrote:
>> Not sure if they've been mentioned yet, and not a single text, but I think
>> Scott MacDonald's series would prove a useful introduction:
>> <
>> =pd_sim_b_1>
>> Art in Cinema: Documents Towards the History of the Film Society-
>> Canyon Cinema: The Life and Times of an Independent Film Distributor-
>> Cinema 16: Documents Towards the History of the Film Society-
>> __________________________________________________________________ For info
>> on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
> __________________________________________________________________ For info on
> FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

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