This thread is interesting, thank you for the postings! We have been researching the history of the avant-garde in, uh, switzerland. In the absence of almost anything official we had to rely on newspaper articles about screenings of avant-garde films, prizes to experimental filmmakers, etc. Of course, we found rejection, quarrel, and lack of understanding in many cases, but also astonishing interest of mainstream publications in the emerging and very active scene of young filmmakers around 1968. Funnily enough however, the only two "grants" given to avant-garde filmmakers in the late 1960ies and early 1970ies here in switzerland were discontinued not only because of bad press but also because of quarrels between filmmakers of different genres. The Scotoni Prize, which was dedicated to the avant-garde exclusively between 1968 and 1973, funded by the city council of zurich and a private donor, has caused immediate public contradiction by filmmakers whose work didn't qualify.
Looking at the Swiss avant-garde of the 60ies, reading their letters and reports in their own publications and newsletters, we find references to the scenes in New York and San Franciso very often. Everything seemed better there (and it certainly was, of course). Figures such as Gregory Markopoulos and Robert Beavers, based in Switzerland for a period, confirmed and doubted it concurrently. It is interesting to read a little bit about the objections the avant-garde filmmakers were confronted with also in the US back then. Thank you for sharing those two articles, keep them flowing! (Anyone interested in swiss experimental films from the 60-80ies: You can have a glimpse at the online-collection at medienarchiv.zhdk.ch. Search for "filmexperimente" (Search="Suche"). You can access a series of 23 films from the 60ies right now, some of them recently restored, many of them by the recently deceased HHK Schoenherr. More to come, also in print.) Fred Am 01.06.2014 um 05:14 schrieb Andy Ditzler: > It's worth noting that Time/Life always saw itself as protecting mainstream > (American) moralities, including sexual, by this treatment of underground and > bohemian arts and subcultures. Underground film was certainly one, Beat > poetry and culture another, as was "the gay world." There's an article on all > the emerging Beat writers from sometime in 1958 I think, just before Naked > Lunch was published. It pulls the same bait-and-switch that David Tetzlaff > describes - unremittingly nasty and then suddenly some respectful words about > Burroughs' talents. This happened over and over again. By the mid-80s they > were making fun of Ginsberg's partial paralysis, describing his face as "one > [eye] wide and innocent, gazing at eternity; the other narrowed and > scrutinizing, looking for his market share." (Quote in Barry Miles' > biography.) Of course, Ginsberg had early on attacked Time in his poem > America ("Do you want your emotional life to be run by Time Magazine?"). And > watch Pennebaker's "Dont Look Back" if you want to know how Bob Dylan feels > about Time. > > And what Chuck says is also true: even negative articles were valuable to > people isolated from the phenomena they describe. There's a whole chapter in > Martin Meeker's book "Contacts Desired" devoted to an article Life published > in 1964 on gay men in San Francisco, and the impact it had on isolated gay > men across the country. Among other things, there was a photo spread of the > inside of a leather bar, showing men socializing, and that was a big deal. > For those interested, it's at: > http://www.solresearch.org/~SOLR/cache/pubn/mag/Life/19640626-Gays.pdf > > Sorry to take this far out of film - just thinking about one way of > contextualizing the underground film articles. > > Andy Ditzler > > > > On Sat, May 31, 2014 at 10:07 PM, Chuck Kleinhans <chuck...@northwestern.edu> > wrote: > > On May 31, 2014, at 6:24 PM, Jonathan Walley <wall...@denison.edu> wrote: > >> Okay, here it is: "In the Year of Our Ford." Fred was right - the article I >> cut-and-pasted earlier is nothing compared to this one. It is truly >> sickening. Why TIME would choose to go on the rampage against handful of >> avant-garde filmmakers getting small grants at a moment when MUCH "weirder" >> stuff was getting much more widespread media attention (and $$) is beyond >> me. >> >> > > Although Time had unsigned articles back then, you could often determine the > reviewer/writer by looking on the masthead staff list. > > > > Chuck Kleinhans > > > > > _______________________________________________ > FrameWorks mailing list > FrameWorks@jonasmekasfilms.com > https://mailman-mail5.webfaction.com/listinfo/frameworks > > > > > -- > > Andy Ditzler > www.filmlove.org > www.johnq.org > Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts, Emory University > _______________________________________________ > FrameWorks mailing list > FrameWorks@jonasmekasfilms.com > https://mailman-mail5.webfaction.com/listinfo/frameworks
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