TO FREE CINEMA

James, David E. (edited)

Published by Princeton, 1992
ISBN 10: 069102345X / ISBN 13: 9780691023458
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Jonas Mekas, one of the driving forces behind New York's alternative film culture from the 1950s through the 1980s, made for an unlikely counterculture hero: a Lithuanian emigr and fervent nationalist from an agrarian family, he had not grown up with either capitalist commercialism or the postwar rebellion against it. By focusing on his sensitivity to political struggle, however, leading film commentators here offer fascinating insights into Mekas's career as a writer, filmdistributor, and film-maker, while exploring the history of independent cinema in New York since World War II. This collection of essays, interviews, and photographs addresses such topics as Mekas's column in the Village Voice, his foundation and editorship of Film Culture, his role in the establishment of Anthology Film Archives and The Film-Makers Co-op (the major distribution center for independent film), his interaction with other artists, including John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and finally the critical assessment of his own films, from Guns of the Trees and The Brig in the sixties to the diary films that followed Walden. The contributors to this volume are Paul Arthur, Vyt Bakaitis, Stan Brakhage, Robert Breer, Rudy Burckhardt, David Curtis, Richard Foreman, Tom Gunning, Bob Harris, J. Hoberman, David E. James, Marjorie Keller, Peter Kubelka, George Kuchar, Richard Leacock, Barbara Moore, Peter Moore, Scott Nygren, John Pruitt, Lauren Rabinovitz, Michael Renov, Jeffrey K. Ruoff, and Maureen Turim.

From Publishers Weekly: James, a professor of film studies at USC, aims in this collection to celebrate Mekas on his 70th birthday. A key figure in the New York film avant-garde, Mekas was an early film columnist for the Village Voice and founder of the influential magazine Film Culture , the Film-Makers Cooperative and the Anthology Film Archives. The volume alternates scholarly essays on his films and aspects of writing as a critic, poet and diarist with reminiscences from his friends and colleagues. These range from critic Andrew Sarris, who expresses admiration for Mekas as a person while rejecting his avant-garde film aesthetic, to filmmakers George Kuchar, Peter Kubelka, Stan Brakhage and Robert Breer. The scholarly essays include the insightful--Majorie Keller writes on Mekas as a "mother" figure and likens his films to writings of women diarists; Paul Arthur discusses Mekas as a representative of the '60s social and political counterculture--and the occasionally obscure. However, this collection is a valuable addition to the much-too-short shelf on American avant-garde cinema.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: TO FREE CINEMA
Publisher: Princeton
Publication Date: 1992
Binding: Soft Cover
Book Condition: Very Good
Edition: First Printing

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James, David E. (Ed) (203)
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Book Description Princeton Univ Pr, Ewing, New Jersey, U.S.A., 1992. Soft cover. Condition: Good+. 'Jonas Mekas, one of the driving forces behind New York's alternative film culture from the 1950s to the 1980s, made for an unlikely counterculture hero: a Lithuanian emigre from an agrarian family. Essays, interviews and photographs offer fascinating insights into Mekas's career as a writer, film-maker and film-distributor.' Lightly grubby on edges, slight scuffing to surface, o/w tight and clean. Seller Inventory # 008643

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Editor-David E. James
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