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The ABCs of Subversive Cinema (2013 Edition)

by Coheed 2.5
The ABCs of Subversive Cinema (2013 Edition) by Coheed 2.5
Introduction Taken from the Introduction on the Videotape Swapshop site (Original link: HERE ) You know what our attitude was towards people who didn’t like avant-garde films? ‘Oh you don’t like it? We’ll show it again’. – Amos Vogel Here is an antidote for the summer season of films. Are you tired of the blockbuster? Your eyes sore from the 3D glasses and IMAX? Down with Superman? Already ill before Wolverine (2013)? Did you like Pacific Rim (2013), like I did, but admitted it was dumb CGIploitation, and were annoyed Rinko Kikuchi was left out the big boys club, to cry, and not allowed to kick monster arse like the ladies in the Japanese… Read more

Introduction

Taken from the Introduction on the Videotape Swapshop site (Original link: HERE )

You know what our attitude was towards people who didn’t like avant-garde films? ‘Oh you don’t like it? We’ll show it again’. – Amos Vogel

Here is an antidote for the summer season of films. Are you tired of the blockbuster? Your eyes sore from the 3D glasses and IMAX? Down with Superman? Already ill before Wolverine (2013)? Did you like Pacific Rim (2013), like I did, but admitted it was dumb CGIploitation, and were annoyed Rinko Kikuchi was left out the big boys club, to cry, and not allowed to kick monster arse like the ladies in the Japanese animation that influenced it? Is Pain & Gain (2013) the sole film you want to see, the only, because looks trangressive, but is made by Michael Bay of all people?

Do you just want something different? To challenge your perceptions of race, sexuality, gender, politics, aesthetics and the idea of the taboo? Do you want to break, remould, reconfigure, alter, expand and grow your ideas through films? Like a book, a painting, a comic book, an album and any art form, to expand and take new voices and concepts within your hobbies and interest in these areas you will eventually encounter ones that will trouble your perceptions. Works that intentionally broke the mould, hidden within the lines or upfront to undermine conventions, and disturb what you presume to happen in films every time. You follow their expectations to gain from them, not bring your prejudices with you and expect them to be what you want. I finally learnt this only at the age of twenty four, this year, and it changes cinema drastically even as popcorn entertainment. I’ll admit though that the seeds for my obsession with this sort of cinema started when I was first getting into it. One of my English GCSE essays, for a grade, was on controversial and banned cinema. The section on controversial films in my college film studies course, and the films I was starting to see added to it. The DVDs in my university library and the book Films As Subversive Art by Amos Vogel put the cherry on the top, the later probably one of the best books I’ve read let alone as a film book. All together it’s made me become interested in this type of cinema, not because it just jolts a viewer, but it is something fresh and artistically masterful in most cases, always interesting to see.

There are of course a lot of films I wish I’d covered over this season, basing it around all twenty six letters of the alphabet. Not enough female directors. Not enough silent or older films. No pre-Hays Code films. Not enough animation or avant-garde work. No No Wave films, and not enough pornography. What is covered nonetheless goes over a wide range of countries, themes, and genres. It shows, alongside the fact that the Sixties was rich of this kind of cinema, that subversion can exist in any type of film. It can exist in mainstream films – Johnny Guitar (1954) was supposed to be another low budget western, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) was produced by the same company who funded the American Ninja films. Subversive cinema does not need hardcore sex scenes, graphic violence or the breaking of taboos either; Le quattro volte (2010) is subversive because of its slow, extended scenes, its interest in nature, and because its main characters include a baby goat and a tree. Every film here causes one to at least step back and think about the content, to question certain themes and ideas, whether it’s the work of Maya Deren and Jack Smith, or the usual Neveldine/Taylor bullets and gore fest which has more going on in its head. The main point of this series, hopefully, is it just give you all a choice of films to take the summer movie aftertaste away and give you films with more depth.
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The Films

A Is For Africa Addio (1966)Review Link

B Is For Black Moon (1975)Review Link

C Is For The Color of Pomegranates (1968)Review Link

D Is For Daisies (1966)Review Link

E Is For Eveready Harton in Buried Treasure (1929)Review Link

F Is For Flaming Creatures (1963)Review Link

G Is For Gamer (2009)Review Link

H Is For The Holy Mountain (1973)Review Link

I Is For The Idiots (1998)Review Link

J is For Johnny Guitar (1954)Review Link

K Is For Killer of Sheep (1979)Review Link

L Is For Last Year At Marienbad (1961)Review Link

M Is For Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)Review Link

N Is For Night of the Living Dead (1968)Review Link

O Is For Orpheus (1950)Review Link

P Is For The Phantom of Liberty (1974)Review Link

Q Is For Quattro Volte, Le (2010)Review Link

R Is For Rabbit (2005)Review Link

S Is For Separation (1968)Review Link

T Is For The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)Review Link

U Is For Underwater Love (2011)Review Link

V Is For Vixen! (1968)Review Link

W Is For Wax, Or The Discovery Of Television Among The Bees (1991)Review Link

X Is For Xala (1975)Review Link

Y Is For You, The Living (2007)Review Link

Z Is For Z (1969)Review Link

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