Arena One
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141 pages

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In the wake of the end of the Cold War and worldwide protests against corporate globalization, anarchism continues to attract new adherents among both aging leftists and new generations of young radicals. Arena aims to tap into this revived interest in libertarian ideas, culture and practice by providing a dynamic focal point: a journal that brings together good, stimulating and provocative writing and scholarship on libertarian culture of all kinds.

Designed for a general, intelligent, popular readership as well as for scholars and aficionados working in the area, the first issue of Arena focuses on film and video—historical and modern—and future issues will cover the entire spectrum of the arts: film, theatre, and art criticism as well as political theory and practice, reportage, letters, reviews, and unpublished fiction and nonfiction.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 mars 2009
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781604861198
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0025€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Anarchist Film and Video
Edited by Richard Porton
The cinema is not an art which films life: the cinema is something between art and life. Unlike painting and literature, the cinema both gives to life and takes from it, and I try to render this concept in my films. Literature and painting both exist as art from the very start; the cinema doesn t. -Jean-Luc Goddard
What is Cinema? We might as well ask "What is life?", for film, like life, is made of moments; moments in time, held aloft for our perusal, imprinted on our soul, and then brought back to us from time to time as a memory -- by an event, a vision, a sound, an emotion. The separation becomes trivial -- cinema is life, and life cinema: around us, beside us, inside us. The cinema, then, is not to be consumed with haste; films are not to be digested simply as they unfold, like some plastic-wraped fast-food. Created by light and celluloid, they live only in our minds and in our hearts, savoured both during and after the fact. Projected onto the screen and into our consciousness, where they are replayed over and over -- continually re-discovered artefacts which are constantly changing us. What, then, can we say is truly real? A memory? An event? A celluloid image? The answer lies in the cinema. All is real. Nothing is impossible. -Glen Norton
Copyright the authors
First published in the USA and UK in 2009 by PM Press PO Box 23912 Oakland, CA 94623 ISBN: 978-1-60486-050-4 and ChristieBooks PO Box 35 Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1ZS ISBN-13: 978-1-873976-35-7
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data : A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication Data : A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review written for inclusion in a magazine, newspaper, or broadcast.
Printed by Short Run Press, Exeter
Distributed in the UK by:
Central Books 99 Wallis Road London E9 5LN Email: orders
Richard Porton
About the authors
PART ONE: The past (on cinema -or anarchism-in the early years of the 20th century.)
1 Eric Jarry
The Cinema du Peuple Cooperative Venture
2 Armand Guerra
A Note on the UCEE Cooperative
3 Isabelle Marinone
Educational Cinema
4 Emeterio Diez
Anarchist Cinema during the Spanish Civil War
5 Andrew H. Lee
6 Dan Georgiakas
Alexander the Great
PART TWO: The present (focusing on new media)
7 Pietro Ferrua
Anarchist Film Festivals
8 Russell Campbell
System Overload
9 Richard Modiano
Cop Watch L.A.
10 Andrew Hedden
Videotaping a New World
Richard Porton

Richard Porton
Attempting to sum up the relationship between film and anarchism is as challenging as pinpointing the affinities between painters, musicians, novelists, poets, playwrights, and the anti-authoritarian tradition. If we speak of anarchist cinema, are we referring to films about the historical experience of anarchists and anarchism or films with an anarchist impetus that might have been made by non-anarchists? Just as anarchist motifs permeate the work of both the realist painter Gustave Courbet and the modernist Pablo Picasso, is an anarchist cinematic aesthetic more visible in the documentary reportage of newsreels produced by the CNT during the Spanish Revolution or in the surrealist films of Luis Bu uel - clearly an anti-clerical and anti-authoritarian director, if not precisely anarchist from a literal-minded political perspective? (He supported the Communist Party during the Spanish Civil War and once told Joel Sucher and Steven Fischler of the Pacific Street Film Collective that he didn t consider himself good enough to be an anarchist.) In fact, even Stuart Christie, our publisher and a man with a profound knowledge of, and empathy for, the anarchist tradition, admitted to Duncan Campbell in The Guardian that many films made by anarchists are boring and that he was fond of many anti-authoritarian films made by non-anarchists.
Similar questions bedeviled me while I was working on Film and the Anarchist Imagination some years ago. While films celebrating heroic anarchists were unquestionably well intentioned, they were also occasionally dull and plodding. Subversive masterpieces such as Jean Vigo s Z ro de Conduite (Zero for Conduct) were rare exceptions. The singular beauty of Vigo s film resides in a seamless fusion of style and content. This lyrical ode to revolt is both stylistically and thematically incendiary; Vigo doesn t need to advocate anarchism in a dry, didactic fashion -the film itself embodies anti-authoritarian fervor with unparalleled brio and humor. Given the difficulty of sorting out the many paradoxes that arise from an assessment of film and the anti-authoritarian tradition, certain critics gave me a hard time for claiming that the anarchist aesthetic is not monolithic and remains, to a certain extent, elusive . Although it rather astonished me that some anarchists were, in effect, chiding me for not advocating a more prescriptive, or arguably authoritarian aesthetic stance, I would only argue that, despite disparate styles and political origins, most anarchist films (however defined) - promote self-emancipation and derive inspiration, whether consciously or not, from the tradition of decentralized anarchist pedagogy. Although pedagogy often has unsavory, coercive connotations in the context of mainstream education, it is clear from the writings of the proto-anarchist utopian Charles Fourier, as well as his consciously anarchist progeny, that pedagogy can be anti-hierarchical while fusing pleasure with instruction and edification.
An implicit commitment to a non-coercive, subversive form of pedagogy animates this anthology on cinema and anarchism and it s quite apt that Isabelle Marinone s article Educational Cinema: A Libertarian Intervention focuses on the efforts of Gustave Cauvin to disabuse his fellow anarchists of their assumption that cinema was irredeemably bourgeois. Marinone demonstrates how the Cin ma du Peuple , the very first cinema cooperative in France to produce militant films to target a worker audience served as a precursor to a host of (mostly non-anarchist) French film collectives that served as a challenge to the myth of the autonomous auteur. The noted militant Armand Guerra directed several Cin ma du Peuple productions; his film on the Paris Commune is perhaps the best known and is said to have been a particular inspiration to the anarchist painter Maximilien Luce. Eric Jarry s article on the Cinema du Peuple cooperative venture, and translations of documents by Guerra himself and his daughterr, round out the portrait of a cinematic endeavor that sought to both raise the intellectual level of the people and do away with wage slavery by means of an economic transformation of society.
Pedagogical imperatives also come to the fore in this volume within Emeterio Diez s discussion of the role of film in the Spanish Revolution and Civil War. The films of the CNT-ArenaMaster1. FAI, in addition to having performed the traditional functions of agitation and propaganda traditionally embraced by a political faction during wartime, are now important documents that illuminate the anarchist experiments in self-management during the early days of revolutionary upheaval. Diez s discussion of the anarchist socialization of the Spanish film industry -particularly attempts to assert workers control over the realms of production and exhibition -is the most complete treatment of the subject I am aware of. While Diez ultimately pinpoints major contradictions that stymied the socialization process (which included internecine conflicts among the anarchists themselves and the cinemas dependence upon Hollywood film which clashed blatantly with the CNT-FAI s revolutionary ethos), his article nevertheless chronicles a seminal utopian moment in the history of the anarchist movement.
Of course, most filmgoers are more familiar with contemporary evocations of the Spanish Revolution such as Ken Loach s Land and Freedom and Vicente Aranda s Libertarias than with the films actually produced by the CNT-FAI. Focusing on the role of women in revolutionary Spain, Andrew H. Lee s critique of Libertarias helpfully disentangles many of the caricatures and misrepresentations of anarcha-feminism that surface in Aranda s superficially well-intentioned film. Preferring historical sobriety to Aranda s titillating, if empty, historical pastiche, Lee heartily recommends Lisa Berger and Carol Mazer s All Our Lives , a documentary on the Mujeres Libres (the anarchist women s organization founded in Spain in 1936).
From a much different vantage point, Dan Georgakas analysis of Theo Angelopoulos Alexander the Great examines another sort of historical film altogether -an elaborate allegory that imagines the lineage of a rural Greek anarchist commune that simultaneously critiques the authoritarian tendencies of the left during the Greek Civil War of 1944-1949. Georgakas ably demonstrates that Angelopoulos Alexander -a fictional brigand unrelated to the conqueror enshrined by filmmakers such as Oliver Stone - encapsulates the lost promise of a libertarian left champi

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