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Welcome to your Avant-Garde and Experimental Film reading list! Here you will find the resources to support you throughout your module.
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Line of Sight; American avant-garde film since 1965 by For three decades, Paul Arthur has been a leading observer and critic as well as a direct participant in America's avant-garde cinema. In A Line of Sight, he provides a sweeping new account of the extravagant energies of American experimental cinema since 1965. Balancing close analysis of both major and lesser-known films with detailed examinations of their production, distribution, and exhibition, Arthur addresses the avant-garde's cultural significance while offering a timely reconsideration of accepted critical categories and artistic options. Rather than treating American avant-garde cinema as a series of successive artistic breakthroughs, A Line of Sight emphasizes the importance of social and institutional networks, material exchanges, and historical disruptions and continuities. Throughout, Arthur pays close attention to themes and visual practices neglected or underrepresented in previous studies, scrutinizing portraiture as a vehicle for projecting dissident identities, highlighting the essay film and the contemporary city symphony, and assessing the contributions of regional and African American filmmaking to the avant-garde. He also explores thematic and formal questions that have been central to the avant-garde achievement: experimental film's relationship with mainstream narrative cinema and postwar American painting as well as the legacy of sixties's counterculture; the uses and theoretical implications of found footage and the allegorizing of technology; and the schism between a poetic, expressive cinema and the antisubjective, rationalist bias of structural filmmaking. Amid the current resurgence of experimental filmmakers and the emergence of a new audience for their work, A Line of Sight reaffirms the extraordinary breadth and diversity of the avant-garde tradition in America.
Call Number: 791.43611 ART
Publication Date: 2005
Women's Experimental Cinema by Women's Experimental Cinema provides lively introductions to the work of fifteen avant-garde women filmmakers, some of whom worked as early as the 1950s and many of whom are still working today. In each essay in this collection, a leading film scholar considers a single filmmaker, supplying biographical information, analyzing various influences on her work, examining the development of her corpus, and interpreting a significant number of individual films. The essays rescue the work of critically neglected but influential women filmmakers for teaching, further study, and, hopefully, restoration and preservation. Just as importantly, they enrich the understanding of feminism in cinema and expand the terrain of film history, particularly the history of the American avant-garde. The contributors examine the work of Marie Menken, Joyce Wieland, Gunvor Nelson, Yvonne Rainer, Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Rubin, Amy Greenfield, Barbara Hammer, Chick Strand, Marjorie Keller, Leslie Thornton, Abigail Child, Peggy Ahwesh, Su Friedrich, and Cheryl Dunye. The essays highlight the diversity in these filmmakers' forms and methods, covering topics such as how Menken used film as a way to rethink the transition from abstract expressionism to Pop Art in the 1950s and 1960s, how Rubin both objectified the body and investigated the filmic apparatus that enabled that objectification in her film Christmas on Earth (1963), and how Dunye uses film to explore her own identity as a black lesbian artist. At the same time, the essays reveal commonalities, including a tendency toward documentary rather than fiction and a commitment to nonhierarchical, collaborative production practices. The volume's final essay focuses explicitly on teaching women's experimental films, addressing logistical concerns (how to acquire the films and secure proper viewing spaces) and extending the range of the book by suggesting alternative films for classroom use. Contributors. Paul Arthur, Robin Blaetz, Noël Carroll, Janet Cutler, Mary Ann Doane, Robert A. Haller, Chris Holmlund, Chuck Kleinhans, Scott MacDonald, Kathleen McHugh, Ara Osterweil, Maria Pramaggiore, Melissa Ragona, Kathryn Ramey, M. M. Serra, Maureen Turim, William C. Wees
Call Number: 791.430233082 BLA
Publication Date: 2007
Videography; video media as art and culture. by Videography is an attempt to discover the conditions under which it is possible to speak, write and teach about the electronic media. It provides a materialist account of video and computer media as they are practised and used today. A theoretical section tests the claims of various theses in art history, media and cultural theory to account for the variety of video practice in the contemporary scene. The remainder of the book is devoted to close analysis of work, from amateur video to computer graphics.
Call Number: 302.234 CUB
Publication Date: 1993
A History of Artists' Film and Video in Britain by In recent years the use of film and video by British artists has come to widespread public attention. Jeremy Deller, Douglas Gordon, Steve McQueen and Gillian Wearing all won the Turner Prize (in 2004, 1996, 1999 and 1997 respectively) for work made on video. This fin-de-siecle explosion of activity represents the culmination of a long history of work by less well-known artists and experimental film-makers. Ever since the invention of film in the 1890s, artists have been attracted to the possibilities of working with moving images, whether in pursuit of visual poetry, the exploration of the art form's technical challenges, the hope of political impact, or the desire to re-invigorate such time-honoured subjects as portraiture and landscape. Their work represents an alternative history to that of commercial cinema in Britain - a tradition that has been only intermittently written about until now. This major new book is the first comprehensive history of artists' film and video in Britain. Structured in two parts ('Institutions' and 'Artists and Movements'), it considers the work of some 300 artists, including Kenneth Macpherson, Basil Wright, Len Lye, Humphrey Jennings, Margaret Tait, Jeff Keen, Carolee Schneemann, Yoko Ono, Malcolm Le Grice, Peter Gidal, William Raban, Chris Welsby, David Hall, Tamara Krikorian, Sally Potter, Guy Sherwin, Lis Rhodes, Derek Jarman, David Larcher, Steve Dwoskin, James Scott, Peter Wollen and Laura Mulvey, Peter Greenaway, Patrick Keiller, John Smith, Andrew Stones, Jaki Irvine, Tracy Emin, Dryden Goodwin, and Stephanie Smith and Ed Stewart. Written by the leading authority in the field, A History of Artists' Film and Video in Britain, 1897-2004 brings to light the range and diversity of British artists' work in these mediums as well as the artist-run organisations that have supported the art-form's development. In so doing it greatly enlarges the scope of any understanding of 'British cinema' and demonstrates the crucial importance of the moving image to British art history.
Call Number: 791.430941 CUR
Publication Date: 2006
Animation Unlimited; innovative short films since 1940. by Featuring 50 seminal short films by key animators from around the world, this book discusses the work of early pioneers such as Oskar Fischinger and Jan Svankmajer as well as contemporary animators such as Larry Cuba, Tim Hope and Run Wrake. All of the films included are independently produced personal work. Most of the featured directors make a living in commercial animation but, freed from the constraints of a client brief, they use their short films to experiment with new ideas and techniques, many of which subsequently find their way into commercial applications. Labors of love, these films can take years to complete - each second of the film may consist of up to 25 frames of animation. Grouped according to four main themes, all forms of animation are covered, including 2D, 3D, Claymation, stop frame and web/Flash animation. Each project is accompanied by a 500-word review including comments from the director. Details of software and method along with the internet address of the production company are given in the technical credits.
Call Number: 791.4334 FAB
Publication Date: 2004
Experimental Cinema, the Film Reader by This volume provides a comprehensive guide to the long tradition of American avant-garde cinema, from its origins in the 1920s to the work of contemporary film and video artists. The Reader addresses major movements and key figures of the avant-garde, including filmmakers such as Andy Warhol, Kenneth Anger, Isaac Julien and Julie Dash, investigates how underground films have explored issues of gender, sexuality and race, and foreground technical innovations such as the use of Super 8mm and video.
Call Number: 791.436110973 DIX
Publication Date: 2002
Teaching Music Video by Music video is a popular form worldwide. It is a teachable and accessible topic because the videos are familiar to students, easy to get hold of and short. And because it is always changing, it makes an exciting and vibrant media form to study and analyse, raising interesting questions about representations, media language, institutions and audiences - the four key concepts of Media Studies. It has also had considerable influence formally and stylistically upon a range of other media and cultural artefacts globally. This teaching guide gives you everything you need to approach the topic with your students, including guidelines to practical work.
Call Number: 780.267071 FRA
Publication Date: 2005
Film Art Phenomena by Alongside the commercial cinema of narrative and spectacle there has always been another practice - call it avant-garde, experimental or artists' film (as opposed to art cinema). It is this work that Nicky Hamlyn, himself an acclaimed film-maker in the alternative tradition, investigates in Film Art Phenomena. The work takes its cue from modern trends in other artforms, notably painting and sculpture. This is film-making that emphasises the nature of its apparatus and medium in order to bring about a critical, inquisitive state of mind in the viewer. It deconstructs, anatomises and reimagines what film images are; it builds new machines; it recreates the setting of cinema or expands into new kinds of performance and exhibition. It often has a political dimension - urging audiences to make a free and active response not a passive, consumerist one. Hamlyn's major new study treats artists' film conceptually in order to explore key categories that connect different works and film-makers: from framing to digital media, installation to interactivity, point of view to sound. In so doing he considers the work of Stan Brakhage, Malcolm Le Grice and Michael Snow, as well as younger artists such as Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, Jennifer Nightingale, and Colin Crockatt, among many others. Film Art Phenomena is a crucial intervention in debates about the modes of film-making that diverge from and oppose the mainstream.
Call Number: 791.43611 HAM
Publication Date: 2003
Experimental Film and Video by The past 40 years of technological innovation have significantly altered the materials of production and revolutionized the possibilities for experiment and exhibition. Not since the invention of film has there been such a critical period of major change in the imaging technologies accessible to artists. Bringing together key artists in film, video, and digital media, the anthology of Experimental Film and Video revisits the divergent philosophical and critical discourses of the 1970s and repositions these debates relative to contemporary practice. Forty artists have contributed images, and 25 artists reflect on the diverse critical agendas, contexts, and communities that have affected their practice across the period from the late 1960s to date. Along with an introduction by Jackie Hatfield and forewords by Sean Cubitt and Al Rees, this illustrated anthology includes interviews and recent essays by filmmakers, video artists, and pioneers of interactive cinema. Experimental Film and Video opens up the conceptual avenues for future practice and related critical writing.
Call Number: 791.43 HAT + eBook
Publication Date: 2006
Experimental Cinema in the Digital Age by Michael Le Grice, a pioneer of "structural film" in the 1970s and whose first video and computer works were exhibited in the late 1960s, provides a collection of his most notable essays. The essays shed light on the work of other artists and film-makers and documents a period, especially the 70s, when artists' film was at the centre of polemical debate about the nature of avant-garde and the future of radical or experimental film. The book contributes to the contemporary debates about film, video, art and new technology.
Call Number: 791.436 LEG
Publication Date: 2001
Avant-Garde Film; forms, themes and passions. by Avant-Garde Film: Forms, Themes and Passions examines the variety of concerns and practices that have comprised the long history of avant-garde film at a level appropriate for undergraduate study. It covers the developments of experimental film-making since the modernist explosion in the 1920s in Europe through to the Soviet film experiments, the American Underground cinema and the French New Wave, structuralism and contemporary gallery work of the young British artists. Through in-depth case-studies, the book introduces students not only to the history of the avant-garde but also to varied analytical approaches to the films themselves - ranging from abstraction (Richter, Ruttmann) to surreal visions (Bunuel, Wyn Evans), underground subversion (Jack Smith, Warhol) to experimental narrative (Deren and Antonioni).
Call Number: 791.43611 OPR
Publication Date: 2003
Visionary Film; The Avant-garde 1943-2000 by Critics hailed previous editions of Visionary Film as the most complete work written on the exciting, often puzzling, and always controversial genre of American avant-garde film. This book has remained the standard text on American avant-garde film since the publication of its first edition in1974. Now P. Adams Sitney has once again revised and updated this classic work, restoring a chapter on the films of Gregory J. Markopoulos and bringing his discussion of the principal genres and major filmmakers up to the year 2000.
Call Number: 791.43611 SIT + eBook
Publication Date: 2002
Women and Experimental Filmmaking by Acting as a corrective to the skewed avant-garde history that neglects women, Women and Experimental Filmmaking gathers essays by some of the top scholars in cinema studies dealing with women experimental filmmakers. Tracking the topic across racial, economic, geographic, and even temporal boundaries, Jean Petrolle and Virginia Wexman's selections reflect the deep diversity of methodologies and research. The introduction sets out by addressing the basic difficulties of both historiography and definition before providing a historical overview of how these particular filmmakers have helped shape moviemaking traditions. The essays explore the major theoretical controversies that have arisen around the work of groundbreaking women such as Leslie Thornton, Su Friedrich, Nina Menkes, and Faith Hubley. With the filmmakers re-presentations of women's subjectivity ranging across film, video, digital media, ethnography, animation, and collage, Women and Experimental Filmmaking represents the full spectrum of genres, techniques, and modes. Taken together, these essays comprise a sustained analysis of the conjunction of aesthetics and politics in the work of both pioneer and contemporary experimental women filmmakers.
Call Number: 791.43611 PET
Publication Date: 2005
Subversion; The definitive history of underground cinema. by Subversion: The Definitive History of Underground Cinema is the indispensable history of underground cinema, an untold story that includes the British independent and French avant-garde cinemas of the 1920s, the counterculture film movements of the 1960s, the microcinema resurgence of the 1990s, and beyond. Dispensing with simplistic "art versus commerce" discourses, Subversion not only discovers the cultural roots of underground filmmaking in bohemian cabarets of nineteenth-century Paris and the fairbooths of medieval London, but situates the underground as a radical and popular subculture separate from mainstream cinema and avant-garde film.
Call Number: 791.43611 REE
Publication Date: 2007
Experimental Ethnography; The work of film in the age of video. by Experimental film and ethnographic film have long been considered separate, autonomous practices on the margins of mainstream cinema. By exploring the interplay between the two forms, Catherine Russell throws new light on both the avant-garde and visual anthropology. Russell provides detailed analyses of more than thirty-five films and videos from the 1890s to the 1990s and discusses a wide range of film and videomakers, including Georges Méliès, Maya Deren, Peter Kubelka, Ray Birdwhistell, Jean Rouch, Su Friedrich, Bill Viola, Kidlat Tahimik, Margaret Mead, Tracey Moffatt, and Chantal Akerman. Arguing that video enables us to see film differently--not as a vanishing culture but as bodies inscripted in technology, Russell maps the slow fade from modernism to postmodern practices. Combining cultural critique with aesthetic analysis, she explores the dynamics of historical interruption, recovery, and reevaluation. As disciplinary boundaries dissolve, Russell contends, ethnography is a means of renewing the avant-gardism of "experimental" film, of mobilizing its play with language and form for historical ends. "Ethnography" likewise becomes an expansive term in which culture is represented from many different and fragmented perspectives. Original in both its choice of subject and its theoretical and methodological approaches, Experimental Ethnography will appeal to visual anthropologists, as well as film scholars interested in experimental and documentary practices.
Call Number: 070.18 RUS
Publication Date: 1999
Underground Film; A critical history. by "For the first time brings some critical standards to bear where there is usually only complete condemnation or overblown praise."--New York Times Book Review Parker Tyler (1904-1974), one of the few great American film critics, was intimate with and enormously respected by many of the underground and experimental filmmakers of his time. In this book, Tyler evaluated the Underground in general and the seminal films in particular, covering the history and scope of the genre with insight and verve. Like Tyler's Screening of the Sexes: Homosexuality in the Movies is one of the masterpieces of cinema literature. Introduction by J. Hoberman Afterword by Charles Boultenhouse "In his excellent book, [Tyler] discusses, among others, Man Ray and the optical film, Brakhage's first beatnik film, Cassavetes, Warhol, and I Am Curious (Yellow) (an astute analysis here). Indispensable for anyone interested in contemporary filmmaking, its history, personalities, and rationale."--Publishers Weekly
Call Number: 791.433 TYL
Publication Date: 1995
Film as a subversive art by Featuring over 300 rare film stills, this text analyzes how aesthetic, sexual, and ideological subversives use one of the most powerful art forms of our time to exchange or manipulate our conscious and unconscious, demystify visual taboos, destroy dated cinematic forms, and undermine existing value systems and institutions.
Call Number: 791.43 VOG
Publication Date: 2005