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Visionary Film: The American Avant-Garde, 1943-2000, 3rd Edition Paperback – October 3, 2002
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Praise for previous editions of Visionary Film: "Without question it is the first such book on the avant-garde film--the first one that probes this field in such depth, with such perspective and vision, with such insight and intelligence."--Jonas Mekas, The Village Voice
"Extremely informative and dense with associations that give it an importance and interest beyond the immediate subject matter."--Vincent Canby, The New York Times
"It is an event of no small importance that a work has now appeared on personal film that ranks as a first-rate work of critical analysis, bearing comparison with the best criticism in more traditional media. This book signals a coming of age for the literature of personal film.... For those who have never been able to see the films discussed, Visionary Film creates a powerful motivation to do so."--Afterimage
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It's quite a dense text, and some of the films discussed in the book can be very difficult to see, due to any number of distribution issues and the fact that many of the filmmakers discussed here have only exhibited their works on film. Still, you shouldn't let either of these things dissuade you from reading it; it's incredibly rewarding regardless.
One Note: The subtitle to the third edition here is somewhat misleading, since the book, originally published in 1974 (with a 2nd Ed. in 1979), focuses primarily on filmmakers and films from the early 1940s to the late 1970s. The final chapter of the third edition essentially acts as a brief summation of trends in the avant-garde from the end of the 1970s up to the end of the 20th century. It's certainly informative, but cursory compared to the rest of the book. Those disappointed by this, or anyone looking for a more detailed study of major avant-garde filmmakers and works during this time period should also take a look at Sitney's latest book, "Eyes Upside Down," which I am currently working my way through; so far, it too is exceptional.
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I like that I saved money but not having page numbers on my kindle application on my first generation ipad has made the semester a little stressful... Read morePublished on April 2, 2013 by Jennifer Benge