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The Exploding Eye: A Re-Visionary History of 1960s American Experimental Cinema (SUNY Series Cultural Studies in Cinema/Video) Paperback – December 1, 1997

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Editorial Reviews


"This book brings together an extraordinary spectrum of filmmakers and documents that represent the spirit of a vital period in the history of American independent filmmaking and cinema in general. By letting these auteurs, in effect, speak for themselves and by not discriminating among them, the author remains true to the communal energy that marked the period. I also admire the personal anecdotes and first-hand interviews interspersed throughout the text; these reflections define the author's commitment to, and participation in, the cultural milieu he surveys." -- Lloyd Michaels, editor of Film Criticism
"Dixon's book is a valuable introduction to a once-influential, but now-forgotten, movement in cinema history. He succeeds in his aim of remedying canonical defects by showing that many others operated in this era usually limited to Anger, Deren, and Warhol. The sheer diversity of works in the 1960s as well as other filmmakers now forgotten makes Dixon's project an important work of historical excavation." --Tony Williams, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
"This book records, often with unique personal experiences, an important period of American film history that is rarely surveyed, and it does so in a particularly unique way that reflects the broad concerns and variety of practitioners in the period. It is important to several fields of study, including literature and poetry as well as film and media." -- Deac Rossell, former Head of Programme Planning, the National Film Theatre, London
The Exploding Eye will be an invaluable resource for new studies of the independent cinema of the 1960s. H-Net Reviews (H-PCAACA)
Dixon successfully and completely collates critical information on and by the filmmakers into a biographical glossary, a one stop, literate A to Z information center on the underground cinema that flourished in the 1960s, and is now more often referred to as independent film. the author provides a guide with intellectual liner notes to both major and lesser-known figures in this movement. CHOICE"

From the Author

Explores the work of lesser-known American experimental filmmakers whose films, though well-received and influential, have been excluded from the dominant film canon. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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More About the Author

Wheeler Winston Dixon is the James Ryan Endowed Professor of Film Studies and Professor of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and Coordinator of the Film Studies Program at UNL. He is also a prolific author of books of film history, theory and criticism. His recent books include Black & White Cinema: A Short History (2015); Streaming: Movies, Media and Instant Access (2013); Death of the Moguls: The End of Classical Hollywood (2012); 21st Century Hollywood: Movies in the Era of Transformation (2011, co-authored with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster); A History of Horror (2010); and Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia (2009).

Dixon's textbook A Short History of Film (2008, co-authored with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster) was reprinted six times through 2012. A second, revised edition was published in 2013; the book is a required text in universities throughout the world. Dixon's book A History of Horror has gone through six printings since its initial publication, and was chosen by Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries as one of the Outstanding Academic Books of the Year for 2011.

Dixon's other books include Disaster and Memory: Celebrity Culture and the Crisis of Hollywood Cinema (Columbia University Press, 1999); The Exploding Eye: A Re-Visionary History of the American Experimental Cinema (State University of New York Press, 1997), on 1960s American experimental filmmakers; The Films of Jean-Luc Godard (State University of New York Press, 1997), on the life and works of the noted French filmmaker; and The Transparency of Spectacle: Meditations on the Moving Image (State University of New York Press Series in Postmodern Culture, 1998), on the impact of changing technologies in cinema and television.

Dixon has also written the books Re-Viewing British Cinema: 1900-1992 (1994) from State University of New York Press, a critical anthology on the history of the British film; It Looks at You: Notes on the Returned Gaze of Cinema (1995) also from SUNY UP, on videogames and interactive cinema; and The Early Film Criticism of François Truffaut (Indiana University Press, 1993), which translated some of Truffaut's earliest writings on film into English for the first time.

Dixon is the author of numerous articles on film theory, history and criticism, along with numerous book and video reviews, which have appeared in Cinéaste, Interview, Senses of Cinema, Film Quarterly, Literature/Film Quarterly, Films in Review, Post Script, Journal of Film and Video, Film Criticism, New Orleans Review, Cinema Journal, Film and Philosophy and numerous other journals.

In 2010, Dixon began appearing in an ongoing series of short videos entitled Frame by Frame, and in 2011 created a print blog, also entitled Frame by Frame, both discussing the history, theory, and criticism of film, digital culture, and related issues.

As a filmmaker, Dixon's films and videotapes have been screened at the Museum of Modern Art, The British Film Institute, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Jewish Museum, The San Francisco Cinématheque, The New Arts Lab, The Collective for Living Cinema, and The Kitchen Center for Experimental Art.

On April 11-12, 2003, Dixon was honored with a retrospective of his films at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. At that time, his independent films were acquired for the permanent collection of the Museum, in both print and original format.

Most recently, with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Dixon was named co-editor of the new book series Quick Takes: Movies and Popular Culture from Rutgers University Press in 2015, with six titles already commissioned in the series for publication starting in late 2016.

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