Film 2 Essay, Research Paper
Anthology Film Archives evolved from roots and visions that go back to the early Sixties, when Jonas Mekas, the director of the Film-Makers’ Cinematheque, a showcase for avant-garde films, dreamed of establishing a permanent home where the growing number of new independent/avant-garde films could be shown on a regular basis.
Anthology maintains that the art of film must be defined in terms of selected works which indicate its essence and its possibilities. In addition to the Essential Cinema Repertory Anthology regularly presents new works and retrospectives of major independent filmmakers, those included in the repertory and those that are not; it premieres independent features, documentary, informational films and videotapes, and provides a platform for a variety of groups working with alternative forms of cinema.
Although the primary commitment of Anthology is independents, it presents national and thematic surveys of commercially or semi-commercially produced films that provide information on contemporary aesthetic movements in the cinema of other countries. An exhibition of the new Soviet documentary cinema was presented in the Spring of 1989, followed by surveys of Philippine, Czech, Dutch and Spanish cinemas (November, 1989, January, March,1990). Andrew Sarris curated an “auteurist” survey, American Narrative Film: Its Roots and Its Flowers 1900-1990, with a focus on the thematic and stylistic contributions of the American narrative film to the art of cinema. In all cases, the emphasis is not on the box office
. Huge collections of filmic documents of life in America during the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, and many avant-garde film classics would have been lost if they had they not been saved from deterioration or destruction by Anthology’s film preservation program.
As a supplement to the films included and shown in the Essential Cinema Repertory, Anthology Film Archives has established a film study collection of avantgarde, independent films to serve the film student and film scholar. Unlike the Essential Cinema Repertory where the inclusion of a film is under the strict ruling of the Film Selection Committee, the film study collection is based upon historical principle with the aim of preserving all relevant works. This collection includes early versions of films, unfinished works, rushes, works-in-progress, and other materials. Screenings of these materials are arranged by appointment only. Anthology also arranges screenings for student groups from out of town, provided requests are made in advance.