Shadows, Specters, Shards: Making History In Avant-Garde Film
Avant-garde films are often dismissed as obscure or disconnected from the realities of social and political history. Jeffrey Skoller challenges this myth, arguing that avant-garde films more accurately display the complex interplay between past events and our experience of the present than conventional documentaries and historical films. Shadows, Specters, Shards examines a group of experimental films, including work by Eleanor Antin, Ernie Gehr, and Jean-Luc Godard, that take up historical events such as the Holocaust, Latin American independence struggles, and urban politics. Identifying a cinema of evocation rather than representation, these films call attention to the unrepresentable aspects of history that profoundly impact the experience of everyday life. Making use of the critical theories of Walter Benjamin and Gilles Deleuze, among others, Skoller analyzes various narrative strategies - allegory, sideshadowing, testimony, and multiple temporalities - that uncover competing perspectives and gaps in historical knowledge often ignored in conventional film. In his discussion of avant-garde film of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Skoller reveals how a nuanced understanding of the past is inextricably linked to the artistry of image making and storytelling.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
actual aesthetic allegorical Alphaville American Antin Arcades Project archival artifacts artists Auschwitz avant-garde film B/Side become Benjamin Berlin camera Che's Chile complex constructed contemporary context continues Craig Baldwin creates culture Daniel Eisenberg Deleuze detournement discourse documentary Eisenberg Eleanor Antin elements Ernie Gehr Eureka European evoke experience explore Figure film images film's filmmakers footage formal forms fragmented frame Gehr's genre Germany Germany Year Zero Godard historiography ideas Jewish Jews Katz Ken Jacobs Killer of Sheep landscape language Lanzmann Lemmy lives material meaning medium memory modern modernist movement movie moving Muselmann narration narrative notion objects past and present Photograph courtesy political possibility produce question Ravett relation relationships representation reveal Rossel screen seen sense Shoah shot shtetl sideshadowing Signal—Germany social sound track space specters strategies street structure technologies temporal testimony Theresienstadt tion transformation trauma Tribulation Urban Peasants Utopian viewer virtual visual vivant qui passe Yiddish