This book is a chronicle of the Ubu Films group. Formed by Albie Thoms, David Perry, Aggy Read and John Clark in Sydney 1965, it was Australia’s first group devoted to making, exhibiting and distributing experimental films. Throughout the 1965-1970 period, Ubu produced Australia’s first lightshows, published this country’s first underground newspaper (Ubunews), and persistently advocated for the reform of censorship laws and the need for government support for the arts.
Flamboyant, controversial and resolutely independent, Ubu Films instigated an extensive network of Australia’s underground activity at aa time when Australia’s cultural and political landscape was in transition. For only a brief period, Ubu established a viable proposition that film, performance, painting and political action could coalesce into a vibrant interactive community. What follows is the story of its rise and fall.
Reproducing Ubu ephemera (posters, programmes, handbills, Ubunews articles and newspaper pages), countless newspaper and magazine articles, reviews and cartoons advocating and denouncing the many activities (film, performance, music, publishing, etc.) of Ubu, legal documents, behind the scenes photography, film-stills, biographies, film lists and intimate reflections – this amazing, visually-dense and informative chronological volume that is essential reading for anyone interested in Australia’s history of underground film, but also for independent film-making in general.
Edited by Peter Mudie.
Peter Mudie is a Canadian born filmmaker, artist and academic. Previously a member of filmmaker cooperatives in London, Toronto and Vienna, he has exhibited his work in galleries and film festivals around the world since 1980. He has written a number of monographs on avant-garde and experimental film (including Dusting the Other; Albie Thoms and David Perry: Films/Dialogues; Below the Centre/ Unterhalb des Mittelpunkts; and Michael Snow: Filmworks). He has presented a number of international touring film exhibitions, in Australia and overseas ―― currently he lives in Perth and lectures in Fine Arts at the University of Western Australia.
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Film As A Subversive Art
by Amos Vogel
The now scarce 2005 reprint edition of one of the greatest books on film. A classic returns! The original edition of Amos Vogel’s seminal book, Film as a Subversive Art was first published in 1974, and has been out of print since 1987. According to Vogel–founder of Cinema 16, North America’s legendary film society–the book details the “accelerating worldwide trend toward a more liberated cinema, in which subjects and forms hitherto considered unthinkable or forbidden are boldly explored.”
So ahead of his time was Vogel that the ideas that he penned some 30 years ago are still relevant today, and readily accessible in this classic volume. Accompanied by over 300 rare film stills, Film as a Subversive Art analyzes how aesthetic, sexual and ideological subversives use one of the most powerful art forms of our day to exchange or manipulate our conscious and unconscious, demystify visual taboos, destroy dated cinematic forms, and undermine existing value systems and institutions. This subversion of form, as well as of content, is placed within the context of the contemporary world view of science, philosophy, and modern art, and is illuminated by a detailed examination of over 500 films, including many banned, rarely seen, or never released works.
This 2005 edition, published by D.A.P./C.T. Editions, also quickly went out of print and it has not been available since.
Includes Luis Buñuel, Dusan Makavejev, Luis Buñuel, Stan Brakhage, Bruce Connor, Roman Polanski, Vera Chytilova, Alfred Hitchcock, Carolee Schneemann, Peter Watkins, Tony Conrad, Jonas Mekas, Andrei Tarkovsky, Marcel Duchamp, Robert Bresson, Luchino Visconti, Chris Marker, Federico Fellini, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Kate Millett, John Cassavettes, Shuji Terayama, William Klein, Russ Meyers, Louis Malle, Woody Allen, Yoko Ono, Michelangelo Antonioni, Agnes Varda, Walerian Borowczyk, Andy Warhol, Ingmar Bergman, Jacques Rivette, Sergei M. Eisenstein, Ingmar Bergman, Lindsay Anderson, Roberto Rossellini, Marguerite Duras, Charlie Chaplin, Paul Morrissey, Joseph Losey, Otto Muehl, Hans Richter, Fritz Lang, Jean Genet, Kenneth Anger, Maya Deren, Jean-Luc Godard, Frans Zwartjes, Arrabal, Jack Smith, Stan Vanderbeek, Werner Herzog, Morgan Fisher, Jean Renior, Michael Snow, Robert Frank, Jan Svankmajer, Sam Peckinpah, Paul Sharits, Akira Kurosawa, Yoko Ono, Orson Welles, Frederick Wiseman, Ken Jacobs, Martin Scorcese, Jean Cocteau, Manuel Octavio Gomez, Stanley Kubrick, Norman McLaren, Albert Maysles and David Maysles, to name only a few of the hundreds of film-makers whose works are featured in this essential film book.
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On the Eve of the Future : Selected Writings on Film
By Annette Michelson
The celebrated critic and film scholar Annette Michelson saw the avant-garde filmmakers of the 1950s and 1960s as radically redefining and extending the Modernist tradition of painting and sculpture, and in essays that were as engaging as they were influential and as lucid as they were learned, she set out to demonstrate the importance of the underappreciated medium of film. On the Eve of the Future collects more than thirty years’ worth of those essays, focusing on her most relevant engagements with avant-garde production in experimental cinema, particularly with the movement known as American Independent Cinema.
This volume includes the first critical essay on Marcel Duchamp’s film Anemic Cinema, the first investigation into Joseph Cornell’s filmic practices, and the first major explorations of Michael Snow. It offers an important essay on Maya Deren, whose work was central to that era of renewal and reinvention, seminal critiques of Stan Brakhage, Hollis Frampton, and Harry Smith, and overviews of Independent Cinema. Gathered here for the first time, these texts demonstrate Michelson’s pervasive influence as a writer and thinker and her role in the establishment of cinema studies as an academic field.
The postwar generation of Independents worked to develop radically new terms, techniques, and strategies of production and distribution. Michelson shows that the fresh new forms they created from the legacy of Modernism became the basis of new forms of spectatorship and cinematic pleasure.
About the Author
Annette Michelson is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Cinema Studies at New York University. A founding editor of the journal October, she has written on art and cinema for more than five decades.
“Annette Michelson is one of the most brilliant minds that has ever turned its focus on the art of cinema. It’s a blessing to have her illuminating, inspiring, and informative pieces available in this volume.”
—Jonas Mekas, filmmaker and writer
“When many of these texts first appeared, they were undergroundbreaking. Now, as history, they continue to be impressive for their subtle insights and nuanced style. Annette Michelson’s writing is as avant-garde and of-the-moment as that of a critic/historian can be.”
—Michael Snow, filmmaker, musician, visual artist
“Written with enviable precision and grace, these essays remain the most compelling chronicle of the radical impact that film would have on the other arts in the twentieth century. Through her writings, Annette Michelson defined a field of critical inquiry where others saw only boundaries.”
—Bruce Jenkins, Chair, Department of Film, Video, New Media and Animation, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
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Art-Events and Happenings
Udo Kultermann (Ed.)
First English edition from 1971, Udo Kultermann’s “Art-Events and Happenings”, published by Mathews Miller Dunbar of London, translated by John William Gabriel. A deep reflection on an important part of Art’s development throughout the 1960s – the turn to action through performance and conceptual art – surveying happenings, protests, theatre, ritual, land art and much more, and featuring a vast collection of black and white photographic illustrations of the work of Allan Kaprow, Ann Halprin, Yvonne Rainer, Merce Cunningham, Otto Mühl, Oyvind Fahlstrom, Piero Gilardi, Charlotte Moorman, Franz Erhard Walther, Joseph Beuys, Tetsumi Kudo, Lygia Clark, Carolee Schneemann, Stan Brakhage, John Cage, Hermann Nitsch, Günther Brus, Dennis Oppenheim, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Andy Warhol, Jan Dibbets, Carl Andre, Barry La Va, Rafael Ferrer, Marinus Boezum, Nam June Paik, Wolf Vostell, Milan Knizak, Jackson Pollock, Saburo Murakami, Atsuko Tanaka, Claes Oldenburg, Piero Manzoni, Peter Hutchinson, Christo, Robert Morris, and many more.
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