The 1948 Hollywood Antitrust Case led to the end of the Hollywood studio system and the development of art-house and grind-house movie theatres. [Nov 2005]
Related: art film - auteur theory - avant-garde film - Cinémathèque - cult films - European cinema - experimental film - film - independent film - film society - film theatres - midnight movies - underground film - Barbara Wilinsky - world cinema
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Art house film is a film genre best defined by the theatres in which they play and the audiences they attract.
An art house theatre or repertoire theatre is a theatre that presents more alternative and art films as well as second run and classic and cult films.
Their rise parallels the rise of film societies: clubs for art film aficionados and fans of films that did not play in mainstream theatres
The first American documented art house theatres were the Guild and the Studio, both in Berkeley and reviewed and/or programmed by Pauline Kael
Essentially an American phenomenon, it is perhaps best documented in Barbara Wilinsky's Sure Seaters: The Emergence of Art House Cinema (2001) in which she contextualizes art house movies as:By the end of the Second World War, a growing segment of the American filmgoing public was wearying of mainstream Hollywood films and began to seek out something different. In major cities and college towns across the country, art film theaters provided a venue for alternatives to the films playing in main-street movie palaces: British, foreign-language, and independent American films, as well as documentaries and revivals of Hollywood classics. --Barbara Wilinsky, 2001
See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movie_theater#Programming
Art house film
Art house films are motion pictures that were not intended by their producers to appeal to a mass audience, but rather seek a niche amongst specialty theatres usually found in large urban areas. These films are often produced on small budgets and lack the lavish advertising campaigns of films in wide release. Art films, foreign films, and documentaries are usually art house films but from time to time they catch the appeal of the mainstream viewing audiences. Some recent examples of such break-out films include Life is Beautiful (Italy, 1998) and the documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 (United States, 2004). Many major motion picture studios have special divisions dedicated to these films, such as the Fox Searchlight division of Twentieth Century Fox and the Sony Pictures Classics division of Columbia Pictures. Miramax is a company that got its start releasing art house films but has more recently produced more commercial pictures. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_house_film [Oct 2005]
Cult films at AmazonAmazon > DVD > Genres > Cult Movies
Art House & International at AmazonAmazon > DVD > Genres > Art House & International
Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Amos Vogel
- Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Amos Vogel [Amazon US]
Film as a Subversive Art is an excellent book for artists, filmmakers, and anyone else that is interested in subversive art and film. Amos Vogel, the founder of the New York Film Festival, is insightful, incredibly knowledgeable, and a skilled writer. His political and ideological views are based around the somewhat existential and often bleak truths of twentieth century scientific research. Vogel himself alternates between a joyful optimism in many of his descriptions, and a bitter anger towards "bourgeois society" and the repression of subversive film. Vogel's countless first-hand experiences of the films he writes about and his philosophical leanings shape Film as a Subversive Art into a unique reading experience. --ryankelln for amazon.com
From the beginning, the cinema has been a major target of censors, the state, and traditionalists afraid of its powerful impact, especially when manipulated by aesthetic and ideo- logical innovators and rebels. As a result, public cinema has often found it difficult to display openly some of man's most fundamental experiences. Today, however, neither fear nor repression seem able to stem an accelerating world-wide trend toward a more liberated cinema, in which subjects and forms hitherto considered unthinkable or forbidden are boldly explored.
The attack on the visual taboo and its demystification by open display is profoundly subversive, for it strikes at prevailing concepts of morality and religion and thereby at law and order itself. Equally subversive is the destruction of old cinematic forms and "immutable" rules by new approaches to narrative style, camera work, and editing.
Amos Vogel places this subversion of content and form within the context of the contemporary world view of science, philosophy, and politics. The aesthetic, sexual, and political subversives of the cinema are introduced to the reader as catalysts of social and intellectual change. There are special chapters on Nazi propaganda, the early Soviet Russian avant-garde, expressionism, surrealism, the counterculture, and the "forbidden subjects" of cinema (sex, birth, death, blasphemy). Also analyzed are the massive assaults on narrative, time, and space in modern cinema and the effectiveness and containment of filmic subversion.
Each chapter focuses on a major aspect of this movement and is followed by a detailed examination of representative films; these include many banned or rarely seen works.
The text is rounded out with more than 300 rare stills accompanied by unique, detailed captions designed to invite their "close reading".
Sure Seaters: The Emergence of Art House Cinema - Barbara Wilinsky
Sure Seaters: The Emergence of Art House Cinema - Barbara Wilinsky [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
The Production Code crackdown on American movies in the mid-1930s and the propaganda films made during World War II imposed a blandness on American films. Immediately after the war, international movie production geared up, using fresh talent and handling mature themes with a frankness previously unknown to American audiences. The postwar era became the golden age of art-house cinemas (named "sure seaters" in the patronizing belief that seats would be available for all shows). This brief, scholarly book looks at art-house cinemas, how they operated outside the traditional distribution system, and the pivotal role of film censors and critics. This should be an exciting subject, but it doesn't come across here. Wilinsky (media arts, Univ. of Arizona) fails to convey the excitement of attending these theaters and discovering the works of Luis Bunuel, Jean Renoir, Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, and other directors. Newsletters, program notes, and oral histories of those "present at the creation" would have added life to this book. Strictly an optional purchase for large academic film collections
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