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Film as a Subversive Art Paperback – September 15, 2005

4.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: D.A.P./C.T. Editions (September 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933045272
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933045276
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've had this book half of my life and am still working on seeing all of the films. That said some of the films reviewed in it have dated badly (even Jean Luc Godard has dismissed his Maoist films which never show today). In addition, some of the countercultural (aka hippie) terminology such as "consciousness 3" will leave modern readers scratching their heads. That said it is an essential discussion of films that break film conventions, whether it be through the language of film, political subversion (suddenly relevant again) or sexual politics. The one positive note is that at the end of the book the author states in bold, "But the real question remains: how to reach the masses 'out there' with five heavy cans of 35 mm film and nowhere to show them". The answer is that through video and especially dvd films mentioned in this book that were impossible to find are suddenly resurfacing and being re-evaluated. Though some films are best shelved (I pity anyone who watches all 8 hours of Andy Warhol's "Empire" just to say that they saw it), others especially from world cinema such as the Iranian film "The Cow" and the Senegal made film "The Money Order (Mandabi)" show film makers who now have recieved acclaim. Though some reviewers wanted an update of this book I think that it was written and speaks for a certain point in time, before the co-option of underground films into indie films, when foreign films were still ahead of the times, before garbage like Jackass broke almost all visual taboos while actually taking film a giant leap backward and before the vcr, when hunting down experimental films showing in theaters or libraries was a religion onto itself.
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Format: Hardcover
Film as a Subversive Art is an excellent book for artists, filmmakers, and anyone else that is interested in subversive art and film. Amos Vogel, the founder of the New York Film Festival, is insightful, incredibly knowledgeable, and a skilled writer. His political and ideological views are based around the somewhat existential and often bleak truths of twentieth century scientific research. Vogel himself alternates between a joyful optimism in many of his descriptions, and a bitter anger towards "bourgeois society" and the repression of subversive film. Vogel's countless first-hand experiences of the films he writes about and his philosophical leanings shape Film as a Subversive Art into a unique reading experience.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had the privilege of being Amos Vogel's student back in the early 1980s, and was therefore fortunate to see a number of the 'unobtainable' films mentioned in this book. Vogel is an encyclopedia of film knowledge, and the often pithy accounts of various 'subversive' films -- including some you might not guess would warrant the label -- are both entertaining and intelligent. The image selection is great though, as others (including Vogel) have noted, a still frame stands for a film in an inadequate but nevertheless allusive way.
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Format: Paperback
This book by Amos Vogel is a reference like no other. He explains why these films need to be seen. The photographs are a treasure themself and the book is abound with them. I have refered to this book constantly through the past 30 years. I'ts great to see it is back in print. My film library of over 1000 art, surrealist, avant guard cinema was largely do to Mr. Vogel's knowledge and explanation of film. I'm only sorry that it has not been updated to show the 1970's to 2006. A must have for sure, get the book while they last.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I originally got this back in 1975 when in college, and it became my film Bible for many years, until somehow it got lost. Over the years I had seen a smaller reprint (late 80s) and even an original hardcover for about $50. This is a 2005 reprint, with a new introduction by Scott Macdonald and a brief new essay and photo of Vogel himself. Vogel says he feels no need to change anything, and his text is still powerful and intelligent, but while very nice to have again, and definitely an excellent book on transgressive cinema, it really could use an update. Many (many!) of the films covered were recent at the time of publication. Someone really should continue to list and write about films from the last thirty years that continue in the inspiration of this work. Still, highly recommended -- though it is truly strange to see how many of these films I have managed to see, eventually. Even the Otto Muehl films I've had opportunity to watch in a theater with a (madly rushing for the exits) audience. So if you need a real kick in the head about what the cinema can do, you owe it to yourself to pick this up.
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Format: Paperback
Amos Vogel has proven himself as a true film auteur. The book is filled with interesting commentary and insightful critique. An excellent resourse for anyone interested in exploring subversive and avantgarde film.
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