Shadows, specters, shards : making history in avant-garde film /

Shadows, Specters, Shards examines experimental films, including work by Eleanor Antin, Ernie Gehr, and Jean-Luc Godard, that take up events such as the Holocaust, Latin American independence struggles, and urban politics. In his discussion of avant-garde film of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Jeffrey...

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Main Author: Skoller, Jeffrey.
Description of Work:Filmography
Format: Book Electronic
Published:Minneapolis, MN : University of Minnesota Press, ©2005.
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Review by Choice Review

A sophisticated exercise in "complexifying," Skoller's book cites works of dozens of modernist and postmodernist theorists (especially Benjamin and Deleuze) to frame even more theory. The author's "cine-poetics" examines avant-garde film as a crucial purveyor of a unique historical sense. This is a scholarly book--notes and bibliography are copious and thoroughgoing--but Skoller (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) writes in a style that is precise, informative, and reasonably clear--even though he continually suggests meanings beyond what he is saying. Although he analyzes many experimental films that most viewers have never seen, and will never see, he pushes for general applications, maintaining that "these films create an ethics surrounding the use of memory and experience that insists that our understanding of the past, each time it returns, continues to deepen and become more complex." Thus, he suggests both the significance of the films and their potential to contribute to a perceived complexity beyond human understanding. In a coda, Skoller discusses the "dream-life of technology," speculating about innovations in film viewing, the multitude of new possibilities in collecting, consuming, and relating to images. Image culture emerges as the constant replaying and reshaping of the past into the historical consciousness of the present. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Graduates students, researchers, faculty. R. D. Sears Berea College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

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