One of the most notable guests to visit the 12th edition of Punto de Vista will be the historian of American avant-garde cinema P. Adams Sitney (1944, New Haven, Connecticut), the celebrated author of Visionary Film, one of the first books on the history of experimental cinema in the United States. He will be taking part in several events in Pamplona. Among other things, he is set to give the masterclass Eyes Upside Down and an illustrated talk entitled Metaphors on Vision.
In Upside Down: Visionary Filmmakers and the Heritage of Emerson (2008), Sitney held the work of a number of key avant-garde filmmakers up against the philosophy of Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose influence in American culture is still all-pervading. In this masterclass, Sitney will outline the ideas developed in the book and illustrate them with short films by Menken, Hugo, Brakhage and Frampton.
Sitney’s first book was an edition of Stan Brakhage’s Metaphors on Vision (Film Culture, 1963). Fifty years later, he published a revised, corrected edition with extensive notes (Light Industry and Anthology Film Archives, 2016). In this talk, he will address the principles of this classic work on film theory and illustrate it with Brakhage’s work from the time he wrote it.
Sitney attended Yale University. He co-founded the Anthology Film Archives in 1970 and, along with Jonas Mekas, Peter Kubelka, Ken Kelman and James Broughton, served as one of the members of the Anthology Film Archives Essential Cinema selection committee. He is currently Professor of Visual Arts at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University.
Sitney was a fixture in New York University's doctoral programme in the new Cinema Studies Department in 1970. Before moving to Princeton, he also taught at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He has been a major critical leader and intellectual supporter of the New American Cinema avant-garde movement.
The four main techniques that Sitney identified for structural film were: the fixed camera position, the flicker effect, re-photography off the screen and loop printing. These techniques were implemented by experimental filmmakers in the 1960s to create cinema ‘in which the shape of the whole film is pre-determined and simplified.’
He is the author of Visionary Film: The American Avant Garde (Oxford University Press; first edition 1974, subsequent editions 1979 and 2002), Modernist Montage: The Obscurity of Vision in Cinema and Literature (Columbia University Press, 1990), Vital Crises in Italian Cinema: Iconography, Stylistics, Politics (University of Texas Press, 1995, revised edition published by Oxford University Press, 2013), and The Cinema of Poetry (Oxford University Press, 2015), and the editor of Metaphors on Vision by Stan Brakhage (1963), Film Culture Reader (1970), The Essential Cinema: Essays on the Films in the Collection of Anthology Film Archives (1975), Avant-Garde Film: A Reader of Theory and Criticism (1978) and The Gaze of Orpheus and Other Literary Essays by Maurice Blanchot (1981).
All the info about P. Admas Sitney at Punto de Vista, here
In collaboration with: Elias Quejereta Zine Eskola