Film and the Anarchist Imaginationby Richard Porton
Bearded bomb-throwers, self-indulgent nihilists, dangerous subversives-these characteristic cliches of anarchists in the popular imagination are often reproduced in the cinema. In Film and the Anarchist Imagination, the first comprehensive survey of anarchism in film, Richard Porton deconstructs such stereotypes while offering an authoritative account of films featuring anarchist characters and motifs. From the early cinema of Griffith and René Clair, to the work of Godard, Lina Wertmuller, Lizzie Borden and Ken Loach, Porton analyzes portrayals of anarchism in film, presenting commentaries and critiques of such classics as Zéro de Conduite, Vivre sa Vie, and Love and Anarchy. In addition, he provides an excellent guide to the complex traditions of anarchist thought, from Bakunin and Kropotkin to Emma Goldman and Murray Bookchin, disclosing a rich historical legacy that encompasses the Paris Commune, the Haymarket martyrs, the anarcho-syndicalists of the Spanish Civil War, as well as more familiar contemporary avatars like the Situationists and the enragés of May 68.
“A pathbreaking work. Alive with intelligence and perception, it is both elegantly conceived and written.”—Paul Avrich, author of Sacco and Vanzetti: The Anarchist Background
“This is a major addition to the scholarship around radical film history, and if you have anything more than a passing interest in film or anarchism, I strongly suggest you pick it up.”—Sean Sullivan, Maximumrocknroll
“Porton traces the anarchist Zeitgeist, reconnects and rekindles those ideas and images of anarchist fervor that have been so distressingly dismantled and suppressed in our time. An exhilarating act of recovery.”—Yvonne Rainer, filmmaker
“Porton’s astute and engaging study provides a needed corrective to the ‘laughably unsubtle’ movies that recycle stereotypes and half-truths.”—Catherine Saint Louis, New York Times Book Review
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What People are saying about this
This is a major addition to the scholarship around radical film history, and if you have anything more than a passing interest in Film or Anarchism I strongly suggest you pick it up.
Meet the Author
Richard Porton is editor at Cineaste and has taught film studies at the College of Staten Island, Hunter College, Rutgers University, and New York University. He has written on film for a variety of publications including Cinema Scope, In These Times, and Moving Image Source. He is the author of Film and the Anarchist Imagination.
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