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Avant-Garde Film: Forms, Themes and Passions (Short Cuts) [Paperback]

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Item description for Avant-Garde Film: Forms, Themes and Passions (Short Cuts) by Michael O'Pray...

Avant-Garde Film: Forms, Themes and Passions examines the variety of concerns and practices that have compromised that long history of avant-garde film. 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, Ruttman) to surreal visions (Bunuel, Wyn Evans), underground subversion (Jack Smith, Warhol) to experimental narrative (Deren and Antonioni).

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Item Specifications...

Pages   144
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 6" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 15, 2003
Publisher   Wallflower Press
ISBN  1903364566  
ISBN13  9781903364567  

Availability  0 units.

More About Michael O'Pray

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Michael O'Pray is Reader in Film in School of Art and Design, University of East London and has published widely on experimental cinema and artists' film and video.

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Reviews - What do customers think about Avant-Garde Film: Forms, Themes and Passions (Short Cuts)?

A Solid Introduction to Avant-Garde Film  Feb 6, 2007
One of the major stumbling blocks for people first starting out on the winding road into the world of avant-garde film, is not so much the films, but the theory. The films are perfectly understandable if one is well versed in the techniques of cinema, in identifying those aspects of film form that oppose the mainstream and therefore can be broadly classified as avant-garde. The films are often playful, a complex game between audience and filmmaker is often played out and generally, to be just able to say what you see is enough to get by in terms of academic study. However most avant-garde filmmakers are not content with putting their theories onto screen, they also put them into print. The writing is a lot more complicated and dare I say it on occasion indecipherable than the films themselves. This is understandable when these artists clearly feel they have a cultural hierarchy to maintain. This makes Michael O'Pray's introduction to the major issues, figures and debates in avant-garde all the more enjoyable. It is accessible and readable and doesn't assume any pre-knowledge of the reader. It sets it stall out as a simple introduction and takes an historical approach to the development of avant-garde film. For those seeking something more deeper and more in depth, this slim tome will offer nothing new, but for film students and the casual reader this is an excellent starting point on this subject.
A fine historical overview of the avant-garde cinema  Jan 5, 2004
O'Pray does an excellent job here--and it's a daunting task. I had been looking (to no avail) for a text about the avant-garde cinema that is suitable for an undergraduate class that I teach. Finally, here it is!

It is, necessarily perhaps, a bit too sweeping (and thus at times lacking in detail) in its review of experimental films from the '20s to the present. But O'Pray writes in a clear, accessible style, and though he analyzes few of the films at length or in depth, this kind of analysis can be filled in by the instructor's supplementary handouts and by class discussion.

Overall, a highly recommended text for film instructors who teach undergraduate classes in experimental film.


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