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Film as a Subversive Art

4.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  394 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
A classic returns! The original edition of Amos Vogel's seminal book, "Film as a Subversive Art" was first published in 1974, and has been out of print since 1987. According to Vogel--founder of Cinema 16, North America's legendary film society--the book details the "accelerating worldwide trend toward a more liberated cinema, in which subjects and forms hitherto considere ...more
Paperback, 335 pages
Published September 15th 2005 by Trilce (first published January 1st 1974)
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Nov 10, 2014 Mala rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Cinephiles everywhere

Review pending. I'm looking at more than 40 pages of notes & wondering where/how I'm gonna fit that into the review space!
But do read the book ( & more importantly watch the movies) — it's very well-researched & engagingly written. As far as I'm concerned, this book could go on forever!
It's really crying for a sequel. Perhaps Mr. Žižek would oblige!
Distress Strauss
Jan 04, 2009 Distress Strauss rated it it was amazing
The world's greatest Netflix list.
Stacy Pershall
Apr 27, 2011 Stacy Pershall rated it it was amazing
I adore this book! I first bought it out of the $1 bin at the bookstore where I worked in grad school, then later paid way more than that for a replacement copy, as it was out of print. I'm so thrilled to see that it's back in print! I learned about my favorite film, Allan King's "Warrendale," because of this book. It's one of my major life goals to someday see every movie Vogel included. An absolute must for anyone who likes cinema to challenge you and make you think. I'd give it more stars if ...more
May 17, 2015 Erik added it
Shelves: cinema
I skimmed through this several years ago, writing down many names and titles; at that point in my life it was very eye-opening, as I was just beginning to expand my cinematic horizons into the sometimes twisted/sometimes ridiculous/sometimes transcendent realm of experimental/avant-garde/non-narrative filmmaking (if you think that Kenneth Anger's and Stan Brakhage's work is the extent of it, then you really need to read this!). In this Internet-driven era, with no shortage of movie-related sites ...more
James Blake
Jan 22, 2014 James Blake added it
Shelves: film
There's a lot of thought-provoking arguments and analysis Vogel makes when examining a lot of films that exist on the fringe of cinema, both heavily artistic and exploitative. He harps on the merits of well-established art films, bringing a new perspective of how they challenge cinema and the audience's ideas, but mostly focues on a lot of elusive and under-seen films. There are certainly many gems to be found, but probably as many duds as Vogel's conception of subversion and philosophy of cinem ...more
Feb 27, 2008 tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE rated it really liked it
Shelves: film
Just the title of this was enuf to make me want to read it for a long time - but it took me a long time to get around to it. Any bk w/ this as a basic premise is likely to appeal to me. The cover image is from Makavajev's "WR". This is mostly capsule reviews so it's not as in-depth as it cd be but WHAT A SELECTION! These are probably the movies nearest & dearest to me.
Dec 11, 2009 Amanda rated it it was amazing
excellent reference book to have!
Jul 02, 2015 Keefe rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites, film
tracking film progress here
Allison C. McCulloch
Oct 13, 2008 Allison C. McCulloch rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: european minded film lovers
Recommended to Allison by: DG
Shelves: didn-t-finish, own, film
This book is awesome. I didn't get to finish it, because I haven't gotten that book yet. However, a film called Disorder (Desordre) looks like it will be well worth watching.
Max Hechter
Sep 18, 2013 Max Hechter rated it it was amazing
Easily one of the most indispensable film reference guides in existence. I probably have learned more about underground film from perusing this book than any other guide.
Lewis Manalo
Mar 25, 2012 Lewis Manalo rated it it was amazing
A classic book on film and those films that lie outside of the mainstream. I first read this in college. The new edition doesn't add much, and it doesn't need to.
Dec 19, 2011 Sal rated it it was amazing
I consider this one essential for any serious film book shelf. I could spend the rest of my life searching out these films based on Vogel's descriptions alone.
Jun 11, 2007 Joshua rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: film nerds and fans of disturbing images
Shelves: digested
a classic - i paid $200 for this book back in the day. i do not regret it, but much, much cheaper copies are now available. ah well. it's still special to *me*
Brick Top
Apr 07, 2013 Brick Top rated it it was amazing
This is an invaluable reference book. The copy I read was from the library. I would love to have my own copy to refer to it when needed.
Jan 26, 2016 Ian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, usa, film
If I could force the entire world to read just one book, I’m not sure I wouldn’t pick this one.
Nov 11, 2008 Wilson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a bit dated.

But I loved the film stills & descriptions of random Russian socialist films.
Aug 30, 2008 Michael rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested cinema
essential reading for film
Jun 27, 2010 Liz rated it it was amazing
a great favorite...
Mark Crouch
Nov 05, 2015 Mark Crouch rated it it was amazing
Shelves: film, art, favorites
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