Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Cultures: A Critical Anthology

Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Cultures: A Critical Anthology

by Scott MacKenzie (Editor)

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Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Cultures is the first book to collect manifestoes from the global history of cinema, providing the first historical and theoretical account of the role played by film manifestos in filmmaking and film culture. Focusing equally on political and aesthetic manifestoes, Scott MacKenzie uncovers a neglected, yet nevertheless central history of the cinema, exploring a series of documents that postulate ways in which to re-imagine the cinema and, in the process, re-imagine the world.

This volume collects the major European “waves” and figures (Eisenstein, Truffaut, Bergman, Free Cinema, Oberhausen, Dogme ‘95); Latin American Third Cinemas (Birri, Sanjinés, Espinosa, Solanas); radical art and the avant-garde (Buñuel, Brakhage, Deren, Mekas, Ono, Sanborn); and world cinemas (Iimura, Makhmalbaf, Sembene, Sen). It also contains previously untranslated manifestos co-written by figures including Bollaín, Debord, Hermosillo, Isou, Kieslowski, Painlevé, Straub, and many others. Thematic sections address documentary cinema, aesthetics, feminist and queer film cultures, pornography, film archives, Hollywood, and film and digital media. Also included are texts traditionally left out of the film manifestos canon, such as the Motion Picture Production Code and Pius XI's Vigilanti Cura, which nevertheless played a central role in film culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520377479
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 01/05/2021
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 674
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

Scott MacKenzie is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Queen’s University in Ontario. He is co-editor of Films on Ice: Cinemas of the Arctic and Arctic Cinemas and the Documentary Ethos.

Read an Excerpt

Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Cultures

A Critical Anthology

By Scott MacKenzie


Copyright © 2014 The Regents of the University of California
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-520-95741-1



* * *

Without a doubt the most prevalent type of film manifesto comes from the cinematic avant-garde. This makes a great deal of sense, as manifestos—whether political, aesthetic, or both—can be seen in the first instance as a form of avant-garde writing, calling into being a new future. From the early twentieth century onward, film manifestos played a formative role in the way in which the avant-garde was understood. This chapter begins with the "The Futurist Cinema" manifesto from 1916, a key early film manifesto made all the more relevant because of the disappearance of most futurist cinema films through loss and neglect. The various Russian formalist and surrealist statements all point to the way in which avant-garde practices allowed for filmmakers to conceptualize the cinema as a tool to release the unconscious, or allow for revolutionary transformation, moving away from the realist principles that the cinema embodies so well.

László Moholy-Nagy's "Open Letter" calls for a cinema determined not by capital but by artistic vision. This is a refrain that filmmakers will return to again and again throughout this book. Cinema determined by artistic vision is also the theme of Mary Ellen Bute's "Light*Form*Movement*Sound" and Jim Davis's "The Only Dynamic Art." Both artists, working in "Absolute Film," experiment with the cinema's capacity to capture light, and in their manifestos they argue that the cinema ought to be used to enhance and explore new ways of seeing.

In a different vein the French Situationist Guy Debord argues that the image had replaced the more traditional commodity at the heart of capitalism. In his manifesto (1967) and film (1973) Society of the Spectacle he states: "The spectacle is not a collection of images; it is a social relation between people that is mediated by images." In the three manifestos Debord authored or coauthored contained herein, we see the development of his notion of situations; indeed, it is present in his first film manifesto, and his first published work, "Prolegomena for All Future Cinema." Debord's thought is picked up by a new generation of American avant-garde and experimental filmmakers in the 1990s. Far more concerned with the image "detritus" that surrounds and at times bombards contemporary culture, filmmakers like Peggy Ahwesh, Craig Baldwin, and Keith Sanborn produced works that recycled the detritus images of contemporary culture into found footage films. Sanborn himself wrote one of the key avant-garde film manifestos of the time, "Modern, All Too Modern," modeled in part on the writings of Debord.

Other movements were far more polysemic than the surrealists, the Lettristes, and the Situationists. A key example is the New American Cinema movement of the late 1950s and early 1960s. The differences among George Kuchar's "8mm Film Manifesto," Stan Brakhage's Metaphors on Vision, Hollis Frampton's manifesto on metahistory, and the far more structural writings of Keewatin Dewdney on the "flicker film" speak to the heterogeneity of the American underground. Yet what united these filmmakers and their manifestos was a profound concern with alternative ways of seeing. And underlying this concern, despite the subsequent claims that some of these manifestos were apolitical and ahistorical, was the conviction that different ways of seeing the cinema meant different ways for spectators to see the world, perhaps even the world as it actually was and not how they, through indoctrination and ideology, thought they saw it. Indeed, the opening lines of Metaphors on Vision point to this in a dramatic formulation: "Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective, an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception. How many colors are there in a field of grass to the crawling baby unaware of 'Green'? How many rainbows can light create for the untutored eye?" Here Brakhage is not speaking of the cinema but of perception itself; cinema, therefore, is just a medium through which to rediscover the process of seeing.

Nick Zedd's "Cinema of Transgression" manifesto points toward the third wave of avant-garde and experimental filmmaking in the United States and demonstrates the profound influence of the punk aesthetic on experimental film in New York during the 1980s. If punk is a rebellion against older, corporatized forms of music and art, the "Let's Set the Record Straight" manifesto, issued at the International Film Congress in Toronto in 1989, points to the large schism that had developed between the old guard of the avant-garde and the new generation of American and Canadian experimental filmmakers. In contrast, Jonas Mekas's "Anti-100 Years of Cinema" manifesto derides the celebrations of the cinema's first century that nevertheless neglect the avant-garde, old and new.

The final manifesto comes from Canada and points to the ways in which the avant-garde and experimental cinema is being reimagined through the development of alternative forms of pedagogy and the emergence of local ateliers. Philip Hoffman's Independent Imaging Retreat in Mount Forest, Ontario, foregrounds the artisanal aspect of experimental filmmaking and supports not only the screening of new avant-garde works but their production as well. Avant-garde cinema can only be truly understood through an understanding of the manifestos produced by artists, and these documents point to the controversial, visionary, and deeply political nature of the avant-garde.



[First published in Italian in L'italia futurista, 15 November 1916. First published in English in R.W. Flint, Marinetti: Selected Writings (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1972).]

"The Futurist Cinema" manifesto argues for a total cinema, decrying the cinema of newsreels and documentaries as a shoddy subsection of the dramatic tradition. Thus, the writers call for a cinema of "polyexpressive symphony" that, through poetry and analogy, creates a cinema capable of a vast range of expression, while standing on its own as a distinctive art form. The futurists' critique of film's reliance on drama and its celebration of technology and the speed it brings to contemporary artistic practice foreshadows a line of attack present in many of the avant-garde manifestos to come.

The book, a wholly passéist means of preserving and communicating thought, has for a long time been fated to disappear like cathedrals, towers, crenellated walls, museums, and the pacifist ideal. The book, static companion of the sedentary, the nostalgic, the neutralist, cannot entertain or exalt the new Futurist generations intoxicated with revolutionary and bellicose dynamism.

The conflagration is steadily enlivening the European sensibility. Our great hygienic war, which should satisfy all our national aspirations, centuples the renewing power of the Italian race. The Futurist cinema, which we are preparing, a joyful deformation of the universe, an alogical, fleeting synthesis of life in the world, will become the best school for boys: a school of joy, of speed, of force, of courage, and heroism. The Futurist cinema will sharpen, develop the sensibility, will quicken the creative imagination, will give the intelligence a prodigious sense of simultaneity and omnipresence. The Futurist cinema will thus cooperate in the general renewal, taking the place of the literary review (always pedantic) and the drama (always predictable), and killing the book (always tedious and oppressive). The necessities of propaganda will force us to publish a book once in a while. But we prefer to express ourselves through the cinema, through great tables of words-in-freedom and mobile illuminated signs.

With our manifesto "The Futurist Synthetic Theatre," with the victorious tours of the theatre companies of Gualtiero Tumiati, Ettore Berti, Annibale Ninchi, Luigi Zoncada, with the two volumes of Futurist Synthetic Theatre containing eighty theatrical syntheses, we have begun the revolution in the Italian prose theatre. An earlier Futurist manifesto had rehabilitated, glorified, and perfected the Variety Theatre. It is logical therefore for us to carry our vivifying energies into a new theatrical zone: the cinema.

At first look the cinema, born only a few years ago, may seem to be Futurist already, lacking a past and free from traditions. Actually, by appearing in the guise of theatre without words, it has inherited all the most traditional sweepings of the literary theatre. Consequently, everything we have said and done about the stage applies to the cinema. Our action is legitimate and necessary in so far as the cinema up to now has been and tends to remain profoundly passéist, whereas we see in it the possibility of an eminently Futurist art and the expressive medium most adapted to the complex sensibility of a Futurist artist.

Except for interesting films of travel, hunting, wars, and so on, the filmmakers have done no more than inflict on us the most backward looking dramas, great and small. The same scenario whose brevity and variety may make it seem advanced is, in most cases, nothing but the most trite and pious analysis. Therefore all the immense artistic possibilities of the cinema still rest entirely in the future. The cinema is an autonomous art. The cinema must therefore never copy the stage. The cinema, being essentially visual, must above all fulfill the evolution of painting, detach itself from reality, from photography, from the graceful and solemn. It must become antigraceful, deforming, impressionistic, synthetic, dynamic, free-wording.

One must free the cinema as an expressive medium in order to make it the ideal instrument of a new art, immensely vaster and lighter than all the existing arts. We are convinced that only in this way can one reach that polyexpressiveness towards which all the most modern artistic researches are moving. Today the Futurist cinema creates precisely the polyexpressive symphony that just a year ago we announced in our manifesto "Weights, Measures, and Prices of Artistic Genius." The most varied elements will enter into the Futurist film as expressive means: from the slice of life to the streak of color, from the conventional line to words-in-freedom, from chromatic and plastic music to the music of objects. In other words it will be painting, architecture, sculpture, words-in-freedom, music of colors, lines, and forms, a jumble of objects and reality thrown together at random. We shall offer new inspirations for the researchers of painters, which will tend to break out of the limits of the frame. We shall set in motion the words-in-freedom that smash the boundaries of literature as they march towards painting, music, noise-art, and throw a marvelous bridge between the word and the real object. Our films will be:

1. Cinematic analogies that use reality directly as one of the two elements of the analogy. Example: If we should want to express the anguished state of one of our protagonists, instead of describing it in its various phases of suffering, we would give an equivalent impression with the sight of a jagged and cavernous mountain.

The mountains, seas, woods, cities, crowds, armies, squadrons, aeroplanes will often be our formidable expressive words: the universe will be our vocabulary.

Example: We want to give a sensation of strange cheerfulness: we show a chair cover flying comically around an enormous coat stand until they decide to join. We want to give the sensation of anger: we fracture the angry man into a whirlwind of little yellow balls. We want to give the anguish of a hero who has lost his faith and lapsed into a dead neutral skepticism: we show the hero in the act of making an inspired speech to a great crowd; suddenly we bring on Giovanni Giolitti who treasonably stuffs a thick forkful of macaroni into the hero's mouth, drowning his winged words in tomato sauce.

We shall add color to the dialogue by swiftly, simultaneously showing every image that passes through the actors' brains. Example: representing a man who will say to his woman: "You're as lovely as a gazelle," we shall show the gazelle. Example: if a character says, "I contemplate your fresh and luminous smile as a traveler after a long rough trip contemplates the sea from high on a mountain," we shall show traveler, sea, mountain.

This is how we shall make our characters as understandable as if they talked.

2. Cinematic poems, speeches, and poetry. We shall make all of their component images pass across the screen.

Example: "Canto dell'amore" [Song of Love] by Giosuè Carducci:

In their German strongholds perched
Like falcons meditating the hunt

We shall show the strongholds, the falcons in ambush.

From the churches that raise long marble
arms to heaven, in prayer to God
From the convents between villages and towns
crouching darkly to the sound of bells
like cuckoos among far-spaced trees
singing boredoms and unexpected joys ...

We shall show churches that little by little are changed into imploring women, God beaming down from on high, the convents, the cuckoos, and so on.

Example: "Sogno d'Estate" [Summer's Dream] by Giosuè Carducci:

Among your ever-sounding strains of battle, Homer, I am conquered by the warm hour: I bow my head in sleep on Scamander's bank, but my heart flees to the Tyrrhenian Sea.

We shall show Carducci wandering amid the tumult of the Achaians, deftly avoiding the galloping horses, paying his respects to Homer, going for a drink with Ajax to the inn, The Red Scamander, and at the third glass of wine his heart, whose palpitations we ought to see, pops out of his jacket like a huge red balloon and flies over the Gulf Of Rapallo. This is how we make films out of the most secret movements of genius.

Thus we shall ridicule the works of the passéist poets, transforming to the great benefit of the public the most nostalgically monotonous weepy poetry into violent, exciting, and highly exhilarating spectacles.

3. Cinematic simultaneity and interpenetration of different times and places. We shall project two or three different visual episodes at the same time, one next to the other.

4. Cinematic musical researches (dissonances, harmonies, symphonies of gestures, events, colors, lines, etc.).

5. Dramatized states of mind on film.

6. Daily exercises in freeing ourselves from mere photographed logic.

7. Filmed dramas of objects. (Objects animated, humanized, baffled, dressed up, impassioned, civilized, dancing—objects removed from their normal surroundings and put into an abnormal state that, by contrast, throws into relief their amazing construction and nonhuman life.)

8. Show windows of filmed ideas, events, types, objects, etc.

9. Congresses, flirts, fights and marriages of funny faces, mimicry, etc. Example: a big nose that silences a thousand congressional fingers by ringing an ear, while two policemen's moustaches arrest a tooth.

10. Filmed unreal reconstructions of the human body.

11. Filmed dramas of disproportion (a thirsty man who pulls out a tiny drinking straw that lengthens umbilically as far as a lake and dries it up instantly).

12. Potential dramas and strategic plans of filmed feelings.

13. Linear, plastic, chromatic equivalences, etc., of men, women, events, thoughts, music, feelings, weights, smells, noises (with white lines on black we shall show the inner, physical rhythm of a husband who discovers his wife in adultery and chases the lover—rhythm of soul and rhythm of legs).

14. Filmed words-in-freedom in movement (synoptic tables of lyric values—dramas of humanized or animated letters—orthographic dramas—typographical dramas—geometric dramas—numeric sensibility, etc.).

Painting + sculpture + plastic dynamism + words-in-freedom + composed noises [intonarumori] + architecture + synthetic theatre = Futurist cinema.

This is how we decompose and recompose the universe according to our marvelous whims, to centuple the powers of the Italian creative genius and its absolute preeminence in the world.


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Table of Contents


Introduction. “An Invention without a Future”

1. The Avant-Garde(s)

The Futurist Cinema (Italy, 1916)

F.T. Marinetti, Bruno Corra, et al.

Lenin Decree (USSR, 1919)

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

The ABCs of Cinema (France, 1917–1921)

Blaise Cendrars

WE: Variant of a Manifesto (USSR, 1922)

Dziga Vertov

The Method of Making Workers’ Films (USSR, 1925)

Sergei Eisenstein

Constructivism in the Cinema (USSR, 1928)

Alexei Gan

Preface: Un chien Andalou (France, 1928)

Luis Buñuel

Manifesto of the Surrealists Concerning L’Age d’or (France, 193)

The Surrealist Group

Manifesto on “Que Viva Mexico” (USA, 1933)

The Editors of Experimental Film

Spirit of Truth (France, 1933)

Le Corbusier

An Open Letter to the Film Industry and to All Who Are Interested in the Evolution of the Good Film (Hungary, 1934)

László Moholy-Nagy

Light*Form*Movement*Sound (USA, 1935)

Mary Ellen Bute

Prolegomena for All Future Cinema (France, 1952)

Guy Debord

No More Flat Feet! (France, 1952)

Lettriste International

The Lettristes Disavow the Insulters of Chaplin (France, 1952)

Jean-Isidore Isou, Maurice Lemaître, and Gabriel Pomerand

The Only Dynamic Art (USA, 1953)

Jim Davis

A Statement of Principles (USA, 1961)

Maya Deren

The First Statement of the New American Cinema Group (USA, 1961)

New American Cinema Group

Foundation for the Invention and Creation of Absurd Movies (USA, 1962)

Ron Rice

From Metaphors on Vision (USA, 1963)

Stan Brakhage

Kuchar 8mm Film Manifesto (USA, 1964)

George Kuchar

Film Andepandan [Independents] Manifesto (Japan, 1964)

Takahiko Iimura, Koichiro Ishizaki, et al.

Discontinuous Films (Canada, 1967)

Keewatin Dewdney

Hand-Made Films Manifesto (Australia, 1968)

Ubu Films, Thoms

Cinema Manifesto (Australia, 1971)

Arthur Cantrill and Corinne Cantrill

For a Metahistory of Film: Commonplace Notes and Hypotheses (USA, 1971)

Hollis Frampton

Elements of the Void (Greece, 1972)

Gregory Markopoulos

Small Gauge Manifesto (USA, 198)

JoAnn Elam and Chuck Kleinhans

Cinema of Transgression Manifesto (USA, 1985)

Nick Zedd

Modern, All Too Modern (USA, 1988)

Keith Sanborn

Open Letter to the Experimental Film Congress: Let’s Set the Record Straight (Canada, 1989)

Peggy Ahwesh, Caroline Avery, et al.

Anti-1 Years of Cinema Manifesto (USA, 1996)

Jonas Mekas

The Decalogue (Czech Republic, 1999)

Jan Švankmajer

Your Film Farm Manifesto on Process Cinema (Canada, 212)

Philip Hoffman

2. National and Transnational Cinemas

From “The Glass Eye” (Italy, 1933)

Leo Longanesi

The Archers’ Manifesto (UK, 1942)

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

What Is Wrong with Indian Films? (India, 1948)

Satyajit Ray

Buñuel the Poet (Mexico, 1951)

Octavio Paz

French Cinema Is Over (France, 1952)

Serge Berna, Guy Debord, et al.

Some Ideas on the Cinema (Italy, 1953)

Cesare Zavattini

A Certain Tendency in French Cinema (France, 1954)

François Truffaut

Salamanca Manifesto & Conclusions of the Congress of Salamanca (Spain, 1955)

Juan Antonio Bardem

Free Cinema Manifestos (UK, 1956–1959)

Committee for Free Cinema

The Oberhausen Manifesto (West Germany, 1962)

Alexander Kluge, Edgar Reitz, et al.

Untitled [Oberhausen 1965] (West Germany, 1965)

Jean-Marie Straub, Rodolf Thome, Dirk Alvermann, et al.

The Mannheim Declaration (West Germany, 1967)

Joseph von Sternberg, Alexander Kluge, et al.

Sitges Manifesto (Spain, 1967)

Manuel Revuelta, Antonio Artero, Joachin Jordà, and Julián Marcos

How to Make a Canadian Film (Canada, 1967)

Guy Glover

How to Not Make a Canadian Film (Canada, 1967)

Claude Jutra

From “The Estates General of the French Cinema, May 1968” (France, 1968)

Thierry Derocles, Michel Demoule, Claude Chabrol, and Marin Karmitz

Manifesto of the New Cinema Movement (India, 1968)

Arun Kaul and Mrinal Sen

What Is to Be Done? (France, 197)

Jean-Luc Godard

The Winnipeg Manifesto (Canada, 1974)

Denys Arcand, Colin Low, Don Shebib, et al.

Hamburg Declaration of German Filmmakers (West Germany, 1979)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, et al.

Manifesto I (Denmark, 1984)

Lars von Trier

Manifesto II (Denmark, 1987)

Lars von Trier

Manifesto III: I Confess! (Denmark, 199)

Lars von Trier

The Cinema We Need (Canada, 1985)

R. Bruce Elder

Pathways to the Establishment of a Nigerian Film Industry (Nigeria, 1985)

Ola Balogun

Manifesto of 1988 (German Democratic Republic, 1988)

Young DEFA Filmmakers

In Praise of a Poor Cinema (Scotland, 1993)

Colin McArthur

Dogme ’95 Manifesto and Vow of Chastity (Denmark, 1995)

Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg

I Sinema Manifesto (Indonesia, 1999)

Dimas Djayadinigrat, Enison Sinaro, et al.

3. Third Cinemas, Colonialism, Decolonization, and Postcolonialism

Manifesto of the New Cinema Group (Mexico, 1961)

El grupo nuevo cine

Cinema and Underdevelopment (Argentina, 1962)

Fernando Birri

The Aesthetics of Hunger (Brazil, 1965)

Glauber Rocha

For an Imperfect Cinema (Cuba, 1969)

Julio García Espinosa

Towards a Third Cinema: Notes and Experiences for the Development of a Cinema of Liberation in the Third World (Argentina, 1969)

Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino

Film Makers and the Popular Government Political Manifesto (Chile, 197)

Comité de cine de la unidad popular

Consciousness of a Need (Uruguay, 197)

Mario Handler

Militant Cinema: An Internal Category of Third Cinema (Argentina, 1971)

Octavio Getino and Fernando Solanas

For Colombia 1971: Militancy and Cinema (Colombia, 1971)

Carlos Alvarez

The Cinema: Another Face of Colonised Québec (Canada, 1971)

Association professionnelle des cinéastes du Québec

8 Millimeters versus 8 Millions (Mexico, 1972)

Jaime Humberto Hermosillo, Arturo Ripstein, Paul Leduc, et al.

Manifesto of the Palestinian Cinema Group (Palestine, 1973)

Palestinian Cinema Group

Resolutions of the Third World Filmmakers Meeting (Algeria, 1973)

Fernando Birri, Ousmane Sembene, Jorge Silva, et al.

The Luz e Ação Manifesto (Brazil, 1973)

Carlos Diegues, Glauber Rocha, et al.

Problems of Form and Content in Revolutionary Cinema (Bolivia, 1976)

Jorge Sanjinés

Manifesto of the National Front of Cinematographers (Mexico, 1975)

Paul Leduc, Jorge Fons, et al.

The Algiers Charter on African Cinema (Algeria, 1975)

FEPACI (Fédération panafricaine des cinéastes)

Declaration of Principles and Goals of the Nicaraguan Institute of Cinema (Nicaragua, 1979)

Nicaraguan Institute of Cinema

What Is the Cinema for Us? (Mauritania, 1979)

Med Hondo

Niamey Manifesto of African Filmmakers (Niger, 1982)

FEPACI (Fédération panafricaine des cinéastes)

Black Independent Filmmaking: A Statement by the Black Audio Film Collective (UK, 1983)

John Akomfrah

From Birth Certificate of the International School of Cinema and Television in San Antonio de Los Baños, Cuba, Nicknamed the School of Three Worlds (Cuba, 1986)

Fernando Birri

FeCAViP Manifesto (France, 199)

Federation of Caribbean Audiovisual Professionals

Final Communique of the First Frontline Film Festival and Workshop (Zimbabwe, 199)

SADCC (South African Development Coordination Conference)

Pocha Manifesto #1 (USA, 1994)

Sandra Peña-Sarmiento

Poor Cinema Manifesto (Cuba, 24)

Humberto Solás

Jollywood Manifesto (Haiti, 28)

Ciné Institute

The Toronto Declaration: No Celebration of Occupation (Canada, 29)

John Greyson, Naomi Klein, et al.

4. Gender, Feminist, Queer, Sexuality, and Porn Manifestos

Woman’s Place in Photoplay Production (USA, 1914)

Alice Guy-Blaché

Hands Off Love (France, 1927)

Maxime Alexandre, Louis Aragon, et al.

The Perfect Filmic Appositeness of Maria Montez (USA, 1962)

Jack Smith

On Film No. 4 (In Taking the Bottoms of 365 Saints of Our Time) (UK, 1967)

Yoko Ono

Statement (USA, 1969)

Kenneth Anger

Wet Dream Film Festival Manifesto (The Netherlands, 197)

S.E.L.F. (Sexual Egalitarianism and Libertarian Fraternity)

Women’s Cinema as Counter-Cinema (UK, 1973)

Claire Johnston

Manifesto for a Non-sexist Cinema (Canada, 1974)

FECIP (Fédération européenne du cinéma progressiste)

Womanifesto (USA, 1975)

Feminists in the Media

Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema (UK, 1975)

Laura Mulvey

An Egret in the Porno Swamp: Notes of Sex in the Cinema (Sweden, 1977)

Vilgot Sjöman

For the Self-Expression of the Arab Woman (France, 1978)

Heiny Srour, Salma Baccar, and Magda Wassef

Manifesto of the Women Filmmakers (West Germany, 1979)

Verband der Filmarbeiterinnen

Wimmin’s Fire Brigade Communiqué (Canada, 1982)

Wimmin’s Fire Brigade

Thoughts on Women’s Cinema: Eating Words, Voicing Struggles (USA, 1986)

Yvonne Rainer

The Post Porn Modernist Manifesto (USA, 1989)

Annie Sprinkle, Veronica Vera, et al.

Statement of African Women Professionals of Cinema, Television and Video (Burkina Faso, 1991)

FEPACI (Fédération panafricaine des cinéastes)

Puzzy Power Manifesto: Thoughts on Women and Pornography (Denmark, 1998)

Vibeke Windeløv, Lene Børglum, et al.

Cinema with Tits (Spain, 1998)

Icíar Bollaín

My Porn Manifesto (France, 22)


No More Mr. Nice Gay: A Manifesto (USA, 29)

Todd Verow

Barefoot Filmmaking Manifesto (UK, 29)

Sally Potter

Dirty Diaries Manifesto (Sweden, 29)

Mia Engberg

5. Militating Hollywood

Code to Govern the Making of Talking, Synchronized and Silent Motion Pictures (Motion Picture Production Code) (USA, 193)

Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America

Red Films: Soviets Spreading Doctrine in U.S. Theatres (USA, 1935)

William Randolph Hearst

Statement of Principles (USA, 1944)

Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals

Screen Guide for Americans (USA, 1947)

Ayn Rand

White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art (USA, 1962)

Manny Farber

Super Fly: A Summary of Objections by the Kuumba Workshop (USA, 1972)

Kuumba Workshop

The World Is Changing: Some Thoughts on Our Business (USA, 1991)

Jeffrey Katzenberg

Full Frontal Manifesto (USA, 21)

Steven Soderbergh

6. The Creative Treatment of Actuality

Towards a Social Cinema (France, 193)

Jean Vigo

From “First Principles of Documentary” (UK, 1932)

John Grierson

Manifesto on the Documentary Film (UK, 1933)

Oswell Blakeston

Declaration of the Group of Thirty (France, 1953)

Jean Painlevé, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Alain Resnais, et al.

Initial Statement of the Newsreel (USA, 1967)

New York Newsreel

Nowsreel, or the Potentialities of a Political Cinema (USA, 197)

Robert Kramer, New York Newsreel

Documentary Filmmakers Make Their Case (Poland, 1971)

Bohdan Kosinski, Krzysztof Kieslowski, and Tomasz Zygadlo

The Asian Filmmakers at Yamagata YIDFF Manifesto (Japan, 1989)

Kidlat Tahimik, Stephen Teo, et al.

Minnesota Declaration: Truth and Fact in Documentary Cinema (Germany, 1999)

Werner Herzog

Defocus Manifesto (Denmark, 2)

Lars von Trier

Kill the Documentary as We Know It (USA, 22)

Jill Godmilow

Ethnographic Cinema (EC): A Manifesto{ths}/{ths}A Provocation (USA, 23)

Jay Ruby

Reality Cinema Manifesto (Russia, 25)

Vitaly Manskiy

Documentary Manifesto (USA, 28)

Albert Maysles

China Independent Film Festival Manifesto: Shamans * Animals (People’s Republic of China, 211)

By several documentary filmmakers who participated and also who did not participate in the festival

7. States, Dictatorships, the Comintern, and Theocracies

Capture the Film! Hints on the Use of, Out of the Use of, Proletarian Film Propaganda (USA, 1925)

Willi Münzenberg

The Legion of Decency Pledge (USA, 1938)

Archbishop John McNicholas

Creative Film (Germany, 1935)

Joseph Goebbels

Vigilanti Cura: On Motion Pictures (Vatican City, 1936)

Pope Pius XI

Four Cardinal Points of A Revolução de Maio (Portugal, 1937)

António Lopes Ribeiro

From On the Art of Cinema (North Korea, 1973)

Kim Jong-il

8. Archives, Museums, Festivals, and Cinematheques

A New Source of History: The Creation of a Depository for Historical Cinematography (Poland/France, 1898)

Boleslaw Matuszewski

The Film Prayer (USA, c. 192)

A. P. Hollis

The Film Society (UK, 1925)

Iris Barry

Filmliga Manifesto (The Netherlands, 1927)

Joris Ivens, Henrik Scholte, Men’no Ter Bbaak, et al.

Statement of Purposes (USA, 1948)

Amos Vogel, Cinema 16

The Importance of Film Archives (UK, 1948)

Ernest Lindgren

A Plea for a Canadian Film Archive (Canada, 1949)

Hye Bossin

Open Letter to Film-Makers of the World (USA, 1966)

Jonas Mekas

A Declaration from the Committee for the Defense of La Cinémathèque française (France, 1968)

Committee for the Defense of La Cinémathèque française

Filmmakers versus the Museum of Modern Art (USA, 1969)

Hollis Frampton, Ken Jacobs, and Michael Snow

Anthology Film Archives Manifesto (USA, 197)

P. Adams Sitney

Toward an Ethnographic Film Archive (USA, 1971)

Alan Lomax

Brooklyn Babylon Cinema Manifesto (USA, 1998)

Scott Miller Berry and Stephen Kent Jusick

Don’t Throw Film Away: The FIAF 7th Anniversary Manifesto (France, 28)

Hisashi Okajima and La fédération internationale des archives du film Manifesto Working Group

The Lindgren Manifesto: The Film Curator of the Future (Italy, 21)

Paolo Cherchi Usai

Film Festival Form: A Manifesto (UK, 212)

Mark Cousins

9. Sounds and Silence

A Statement on Sound (USSR, 1928)

Sergei Eisenstein, Vsevolod Pudovkin, and Grigori Alexandrov

A Rejection of the Talkies (USA, 1931)

Charlie Chaplin

A Dialogue on Sound: A Manifesto (UK, 1934)

Basil Wright and B. Vivian Braun

Amalfi Manifesto (Italy, 1967)

Michelangelo Antonioni, Bernardo Bertolucci, Pier Paolo Pasolini, et al.

10. The Digital Revolution

Culture: Intercom and Expanded Cinema: A Proposal and Manifesto (USA, 1966)

Stan VanDerBeek

The Digital Revolution and the Future Cinema (Iran, 2)

Samira Makhmalbaf

The Pluginmanifesto (UK, 21)

Ana Kronschnabl

Digital Dekalogo: A Manifesto for a Filmless Philippines (The Philippines, 23)

Khavn de la Cruz

11. Aesthetics and the Futures of the Cinema

The Birth of the Sixth Art (France, 1911)

Ricciotto Canudo

Memo from Walt Disney to Don Graham (USA, 1935)

Walt Disney

The Birth of a New Avant Garde: La caméra-stylo (France, 1948)

Alexandre Astruc

From Preface to Film (UK, 1954)

Raymond Williams

The Snakeskin (Sweden, 1965)

Ingmar Bergman

Manifesto (Italy, 1965)

Roberto Rossellini, Bernardo Bertolucci, Tinto Brass, et al.

Manifesto on the Release of La Chinoise (France, 1967)

Jean-Luc Godard

Direct Action Cinema Manifesto (USA, 1985)

Rob Nilsson

Remodernist Film Manifesto (USA, 28)

Jesse Richards

The Age of Amateur Cinema Will Return (People’s Republic of China, 21)

Jia Zhangke

Appendix. What Is a Manifesto Film?


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