A Critical Cinema: Interviews with Independent Filmmakers

Scott MacDonald, Author
Scott MacDonald, Author University of California Press $55 (0p) ISBN 978-0-520-07917-5
Paperback - 476 pages - 978-0-520-07918-2
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 468 pages - 978-0-520-91286-1
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As he did in the first volume of this projected trilogy, MacDonald profiles and interviews 19 independent filmmakers whose works interrogate and criticize conventional film in a variety of ways, whether by fracturing conventional narrative or by eschewing traditional plots altogether in favor of more impressionistic, visual concerns. MacDonald has used this volume to fill in crucial gaps from the first, including such prominent pioneers of independent film as Michael Snow, Robert Breer (who speaks amusingly about his disastrous attempt to go mainstream by making a documentary for David Brinkley for network television) and Bruce Baillie, in order to give ``a chronological overview of independent filmmaking since 1950, especially in North America.'' Equally important, he has given over much of this volume to women filmmakers, including such seminal figures as Yoko Ono (who speaks at length about her early work with the dadaist Fluxus group and her film collaborations with John Lennon) and Yvonne Rainer. MacDonald is a near-ideal interviewer--well-informed, concise and unobtrusive--and his subjects are good talkers. The filmographies and bibliographies included are especially welcome. The resulting book is a valuable contribution to the history of independent film in the U.S. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
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