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Moving Cinema: Experimental Distribution and the Development of Anthology Film Archives


Moving Cinema: Experimental Distribution and the Development of Anthology Film Archives

Alfaro, Kristen (2012) Moving Cinema: Experimental Distribution and the Development of Anthology Film Archives. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This thesis examines the emergence of Anthology Film Archives (hereinafter Anthology), an independent and experimental film institution in New York City. Within experimental film history, Anthology is predominantly recognized for the creation of Essential Cinema, a canon of film art. The canon has become the institution’s most famous endeavor and it has contributed to Anthology’s predominant scholarly identity as alternatively a heroic or authoritarian institution. In this thesis, I explore the institution’s conceptualization in the 1960s, its emergence in 1970, and the first five years of its development, in order to demonstrate how Anthology’s history is more complicated than the dominant narrative implies. I argue that Anthology grew out of a particular set of social and artistic dynamics that shaped experimental film distribution and therefore, its exhibition.
In the first half of this thesis, I examine the shared spaces and distribution networks of art and film during the 1960s and 1970s in New York City. I argue that the shifts in experimental film circulation – in part prompted by changes in experimental art distribution - play an important role in the development of Anthology Film Archives. Secondly, I examine the broader corpus of Anthology’s early endeavors, including Anthology’s first theater, Invisible Cinema, the Film Study Center, and its collaborations with other institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the American Film Institute, and New York University, among others. This thesis offers a glimpse into aspects of Anthology’s history that extend beyond the lasting legacy of Essential Cinema.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Alfaro, Kristen
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Film Studies
Date:September 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Wasson, Haidee
Keywords:Experimental Film, Archives, Museums, Historiography
ID Code:974690
Deposited On:30 Oct 2012 14:43
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:38
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