A polemical introduction to the avant-garde and experimental in film (including making and viewing), Materialist Film is a highly original, thought-provoking book.
Thirty-seven short chapters work through a series of concepts which will enable the reader to deal imaginatively with the contradictory issues produced by experimental film. Each concept is explored in conjunction with specific films by Andy Warhol, Malcolm LeGrice, Lis Rhodes, Jean-Luc Goddard, Rose Lowder, Kurt Kren, and others.
Peter Gidal draws on important politico-aesthetic writings, and uses some of his own previously published essays from Undercut, Screen, October, and Millennium Film Journal to undertake this concrete process of working through abstract concepts. Originally published in 1989.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. The One to One Relation between Viewer and Viewed 2. The Concept of Arbitrariness 3. Implicating Materialism with Physicality 4. Presence 5. Content 6. The Subject 7. Film as Film 8. Perception Versus Knowledge 9. Fetishization of Process 10. Deconstruction 11. Deconstruction and Sexuality 12. Denial of Semioticity 13. Andy Warhol’s Kitchen (1965) 14. The Stare and Voyeurism 15. Lis Rhodes’ Light Reading (1978) 16. Questions around Structural/Materialist Film 17. Meaning and Illusion 18. The Close-Up 19. Context 20. History 21. The Literal 22. Artistic Subject/Aesthetic Subject 23. Duration 24. Splice 25. Filmmakers’ Statements 26. Performance 27. Film as Material 28. Cinema Verite 29. Audience Numbers and Sex 30. Rose Lowder’s Composed Recurrence (1981) 31. Kurt Kren’s TV (1966) 32. The London Filmmakers Co-Operative 33. Repetition 34. Humanism and Anti-humanism 35. Socialism/Optimism/Pessimism 36. A Little Polemic on Production 37. Autonomy and Anonymity