A Critical Cinema 2

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This sequel to A Critical Cinema offers a new collection of interviews with independent filmmakers that is a feast for film fans and film historians. Scott MacDonald reveals the sophisticated thinking of these artists regarding film, politics, and contemporary gender issues.

The interviews explore the careers of Robert Breer, Trinh T. Minh-ha, James Benning, Su Friedrich, and Godfrey Reggio. Yoko Ono discusses her cinematic collaboration with John Lennon, Michael Snow talks about his music and films, Anne Robertson describes her cinematic diaries, Jonas Mekas and Bruce Baillie recall the New York and California avant-garde film culture. The selection has a particularly strong group of women filmmakers, including Yvonne Rainer, Laura Mulvey, and Lizzie Borden. Other notable artists are Anthony McCall, Andrew Noren, Ross McElwee, Anne Severson, and Peter Watkins.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As he did in the first volume of this projected trilogy, MacDonald profiles and interviews 19 independent filmmakers whose works interrogate and criticize conventional film in a variety of ways, whether by fracturing conventional narrative or by eschewing traditional plots altogether in favor of more impressionistic, visual concerns. MacDonald has used this volume to fill in crucial gaps from the first, including such prominent pioneers of independent film as Michael Snow, Robert Breer (who speaks amusingly about his disastrous attempt to go mainstream by making a documentary for David Brinkley for network television) and Bruce Baillie, in order to give ``a chronological overview of independent filmmaking since 1950, especially in North America.'' Equally important, he has given over much of this volume to women filmmakers, including such seminal figures as Yoko Ono (who speaks at length about her early work with the dadaist Fluxus group and her film collaborations with John Lennon) and Yvonne Rainer. MacDonald is a near-ideal interviewer--well-informed, concise and unobtrusive--and his subjects are good talkers. The filmographies and bibliographies included are especially welcome. The resulting book is a valuable contribution to the history of independent film in the U.S. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Library Journal
With its antecedents, A Critical Cinema (Univ. of California, 1988) and A Critical Cinema 2 (Univ. of California, 1992), this book gives a detailed look at independent filmmaking. The filmmakers in these volumes strive to create new kinds of imagery, narratives, and audiences that challenge Hollywood norms. Here, MacDonald (film studies and American literature, Utica Coll.) expands the geopolitical range of the previous volumes, treating independent filmmaking as an international and multiethnic undertaking. Interviews with filmmakers from such countries as Armenia (Arthur Peleshian), Austria (Valie Export, Martin Arnold), India (Mani Kaul), and the Philippines (Nick Deocampo) are supplemented by a concise, informative overview of each filmmaker, together with film/videographies and selected bibliographies. British filmmaker Sally Potter (Orlando) is singled out for extensive attention. As with its predecessors, this volume belongs in all undergraduate and research libraries that support film studies.Neal Baker, Ball State Univ. Lib., Muncie, Ind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520079182
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 476
  • Product dimensions: 1.06 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott MacDonald, editor of A Critical Cinema:
Interviews with
Independent Filmmakers
(California, 1988), has written for Film Quarterly, October, Afterimage, Wide Angle, and Cinema Journal. He is Professor of English at Utica College in Utica, New York.

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