Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Cultures

Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Cultures: A Critical Anthology

Scott MacKenzie
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: 1
Pages: 680
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt5vk01n
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Cultures
    Book Description:

    Film Manifestoes and Global Cinema Culturesis the first book to collect manifestoes from the global history of cinema, providing the first historical and theoretical account of the role played by film manifestos in filmmaking and film culture. Focussing equally on political and aesthetic manifestoes, Scott MacKenzie uncovers a neglected, yet nevertheless central history of the cinema, exploring a series of documents that postulate ways in which to re-imagine the cinema and, in the process, re-imagine the world.This volume collects the major European "waves" and figures (Eisenstein, Truffaut, Bergman, Free Cinema, Oberhausen, Dogme '95); Latin American Third Cinemas (Birri, Sanjinés, Espinosa, Solanas); radical art and theavant-garde(Buñuel, Brakhage, Deren, Mekas, Ono, Sanborn); and world cinemas (Iimura, Makhmalbaf, Sembene, Sen). It also contains previously untranslated manifestos co-written by figures including Bollaín, Debord, Hermosillo, Isou, Kieslowski, Painlevé, Straub, and many others. Thematic sections address documentary cinema, aesthetics, feminist and queer film cultures, pornography, film archives, Hollywood, and film and digital media. Also included are texts traditionally left out of the film manifestos canon, such as the Motion Picture Production Code and Pius XI'sVigilanti Cura, which nevertheless played a central role in film culture.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95741-1
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-xviii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xix-xxii)
  4. INTRODUCTION. “An Invention without a Future”
    (pp. 1-10)

    Manifestos are typically understood as ruptures, breaks, and challenges to the steady flow of politics, aesthetics, or history. This is equally true of film and other moving image manifestos. Paradoxically, film manifestos pervade the history of cinema yet exist at the margins of almost all accounts of film history itself. An examination of this elision raises not simply the question of whether manifestos have changed the cinema (even if their existence has often been marginalized in film history) but whether the act of calling into being a new form of cinema changed not only moving images but the world itself....

  5. 1. THE AVANT-GARDE(S)
    • [1 Introduction]
      (pp. 13-14)

      Without a doubt the most prevalent type of film manifesto comes from the cinematic avant-garde. This makes a great deal of sense, as manifestos—whether political, aesthetic, or both—can be seen in the first instance as a form of avant-garde writing, calling into being a new future. From the early twentieth century onward, film manifestos played a formative role in the way in which the avant-garde was understood. This chapter begins with the “The Futurist Cinema” manifesto from 1916, a key early film manifesto made all the more relevant because of the disappearance of most futurist cinema films through...

    • THE FUTURIST CINEMA (Italy, 1916)
      (pp. 15-18)
      F. T. Marinetti, Bruno Corra, Emilio Settimelli, Arnaldo Ginna, Giacomo Balla and Remo Chiti

      The book, a wholly passéist means of preserving and communicating thought, has for a long time been fated to disappear like cathedrals, towers, crenellated walls, museums, and the pacifist ideal. The book, static companion of the sedentary, the nostalgic, the neutralist, cannot entertain or exalt the new Futurist generations intoxicated with revolutionary and bellicose dynamism.

      The conflagration is steadily enlivening the European sensibility. Our great hygienic war, which should satisfyallour national aspirations, centuples the renewing power of the Italian race. The Futurist cinema, which we are preparing, a joyful deformation of the universe, an alogical, fleeting synthesis of...

    • LENIN DECREE (USSR, 1919)
      (pp. 19-19)
      Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

      On the transfer of the Photographic and Cinematographic Trade and Industry to the Peoples Commissariat of Education.

      1. The entire photographic and cinematographic trade and industry, their organisation as well as the supply and distribution of technical means and materials appertaining to them, throughout the territory of the RSFSR, shall be placed within the province of the People’s Commissariat of Education.¹

      2. To this end the People’s Commissariat of Education is herewith empowered:

      a. to nationalise, by agreement with the Supreme Council of National Economy, particular photo and cinema enterprises, as well as the entire photo and cinema industry;

      b....

    • THE ABCs OF CINEMA (France, 1917–1921)
      (pp. 20-23)
      Blaise Cendrars

      Cinema. Whirlwind of movement in space. Everything falls. The sun falls. We fall in its wake. Like a chameleon, the human mind camoufl ages itself, camoufl aging the universe. The world. The globe. The two hemispheres. Leibniz’ monads and Schopenhauer’s representation. My will. The cardinal hypotheses of science end in a sharp point and the four calculators cumulate. Fusion. Everything opens up, tumbles down, blends in today, caves in, rises up, blossoms. Honor and money. Everything changes. Change. Morality and political economy. New civilization. New humanity. The digits have created an abstract, mathematical organism, useful gadgets, intended to serve the...

    • WE: VARIANT OF A MANIFESTO (USSR, 1922)
      (pp. 23-26)
      Dziga Vertov

      We call ourselveskinoks—as opposed to “cinematographers,” a herd of junkmen doing rather well peddling their rags.

      We see no connection between true kinochestvo² and the cunning and calculation of the profiteers.

      We consider the psychological Russo-German film drama—weighed down with apparitions and childhood memories—an absurdity.

      To the American adventure film with its showy dynamism and to the dramatizations of the American Pinkertons the kinoks say thanks for the rapid shot changes and the close-ups. Good . . . but disorderly, not based on a precise study of movement. A cut above the psychological drama, but still...

    • THE METHOD OF MAKING WORKERS’ FILMS (USSR, 1925)
      (pp. 27-28)
      Sergei Eisenstein

      There is onemethodfor makinganyfilm: montage of attractions. To know what this is and way, see the book,Cinema Today,where, rather dishevelled and illegible, my approach to the construction of film works is described.

      Our class approach introduces:

      1.A specific purpose for the work—a socially useful emotional and psychological affect on the audience; this is to be composed of a chain of suitably directed stimulants.This socially useful affectI call thecontent of the work.

      It is thus possible, for example, to define the content of a production.Do You Hear, Moscow?:the...

    • CONSTRUCTIVISM IN THE CINEMA (USSR, 1928)
      (pp. 29-30)
      Alexei Gan

      The constructivists have also entered the cinema with their materialistic program. The cinema is the aggregate of an optical and mechanical apparatus. The cinemashowson the screen a sequence of photographic stills, i.e. movement. This provides us with the opportunity to capture immediately and dynamically the processes of all kinds of work and activity of society.

      The cinema must become a cultural and active weapon of society. It is essential to master the scientific and technical methods of cinema in order to learn how to display reality as it really is, and not as the philistine imagines it. It...

    • PREFACE: UN CHIEN ANDALOU (France, 1928)
      (pp. 31-31)
      Luis Buñuel

      The publication of this screenplay inLa Révolution surréalisteis the only one I have authorized. It expresses, without any reservations, my complete adherence to surrealist thought and activity.Un Chien andalouwould not exist if surrealism did not exist.

      A box-office success,that’s what most people think who have seen the film. But what can I do about those who seek every novelty, even if that novelty outrages their most profoundly held convictions, about a sold-out or insincere press, about which this imbecilic crowd that has foundbeautifulorpoeticthat which, at heart, is nothing but a desperate,...

    • MANIFESTO OF THE SURREALISTS CONCERNING L’AGE D’OR (France, 1930)
      (pp. 31-37)
      The Surrealist Group

      On Wednesday 12 November 1930 and on subsequent days several hundred people, obliged to take their seats daily in a theatre, drawn to this spot by very different not to say contradictory aspirations covering the widest spectrum, from the best to the worst, these people generally unfamiliar with each other and even, from a social point of view, avoiding each other as much as they can, yet nevertheless conspiring, whether they like it or not, by virtue of the darkness, insensitive alignment and the hour, which is the same for all, to bring to a successful conclusion or to wreck,...

    • MANIFESTO ON “QUE VIVA MEXICO” (USA, 1933)
      (pp. 38-40)
      The Editors of Experimental Film

      Last year, a great deal of space was devoted to a film entitledQue Viva Mexico!, which S. M. Eisenstein, the renowned Soviet director was making at that time. There were two articles on the film, one of them an authorized interpretation by Augustin Aragon Leiva, Eisenstein’s special assistant throughout the production. In addition, there were ten pages of still reproductions, which, to quote Laurence Stallings, gave a “foretaste” of the film. The editors ofExperimental Cinemawere more than merely enthusiastic about it: they had been given a copy of the scenario by Eisenstein himself and they were convinced...

    • SPIRIT OF TRUTH (France, 1933)
      (pp. 41-43)
      Le Corbusier

      Sprit of Truth!

      Here, too, and fundamentally. In the cinema: spirit of truth.

      I have claimed it insistently for architecture; and, in 1924, at the time of the preparations for the International Exposition of Decorative Arts, I intimated clearly by that insistence that decorative art had no right to exist—at least as the distressingly encumbered, bloated facade that it had become.

      The splendor and drama of life emerges from the truth; and 90 percent of the cinema’s production is delusion. It simply exploits a remarkable technical advantage: the elimination of transitions, the easy possibility of suppressing “dead spaces.” Thus,...

    • AN OPEN LETTER TO THE FILM INDUSTRY AND TO ALL WHO ARE INTERESTED IN THE EVOLUTION OF THE GOOD FILM (Hungary, 1934)
      (pp. 44-47)
      László Moholy-Nagy

      SHALL we look on while the film, this wonderful instrument, is being destroyed before our eyes by stupidity and a dull-witted amateurism? The unbiased observer cannot fail to see, to his great distress, that the film production of the world is growing more and more trivial every year. To the trained eye and mind the present-day film can give no pleasure. This criticism is not confined to the artistic side of film-making. The whole film industry is in danger. This is shown by its increasing incapacity to produce a financial return. Gigantic sums are swallowed up by desperate experiments, extravagance...

    • LIGHT*FORM*MOVEMENT*SOUND (USA, 1935)
      (pp. 47-48)
      Mary Ellen Bute

      The Absolute Film is not a new subject. It is concerned with an art which has had as logical a development as other arts, perhaps slowly but naturally.

      This art is the interrelation of light, form, movement, and sound—combined and projected to stimulate an aesthetic idea. It is unassociated with ideas of religion, literature, ethics or decoration. Here light, form, and sound are in dynamic balance with kinetic space relations.

      The Absolute Film addresses the eye and the ear. Other motion pictures, although making use of sensations of sight and sound, address not the eye and the ear but...

    • PROLEGOMENA FOR ALL FUTURE CINEMA (France, 1952)
      (pp. 49-50)
      Guy Debord

      Love is only valid in a revolutionary period.

      I made this film while there is still time to talk.

      One must rise with the most violence possible against an ethical order that will later be obsolete.

      As I do not like writing, I lack the leisure to create a work that will be less than eternal: my film will remain among the most important in the history of the reproductive hypostasis of cinema by means of a terrorist disorganization of the discrepant.

      Chiseling of the photograph and lettrism (found elements) are envisioned as the expression of such a revolt.

      Chiseling...

    • NO MORE FLAT FEET! (France, 1952)
      (pp. 50-51)
      Lettriste International

      Sub Mack Sennett director, sub-Max Linder actor, Stavisky of the tears of unwed mothers and the little orphans of Auteuil, you are Chaplin, emotional blackmailer, master-singer of misfortune.

      The cameraman needed his Delly. It’s only to him that you’ve given your works, and your good works: your charities.

      Because you’ve identified yourself with the weak and the oppressed, to attack you has been to attack the weak and oppressed—but in the shadow of your rattan cane some could already see the nightstick of a cop.

      You are “he-who-turns-the-other-cheek”—the other cheek of the buttock—but for us, the young...

    • THE LETTRISTES DISAVOW THE INSULTERS OF CHAPLIN (France, 1952)
      (pp. 51-52)
      Jean-Isidore Isou, Maurice Lemaître and Gabriel Pomerand

      The members of the Lettriste movement are united on the basis of new principles of knowledge and each keeps his independence as far as the details of the application of these principles. We all know that [Charles] Chaplin was been “a great creator in the history of the cinema” but “the total (and baroque) hysteria” that has surrounded his arrival in France has embarrassed us, as does the expression of all mental instability. We are ashamed that the world today lacks more profound values than these, which are secondary and “idolatrous” of the “artist.” Only the Lettristes who signed the...

    • THE ONLY DYNAMIC ART (USA, 1953)
      (pp. 52-56)
      Jim Davis

      After thirty years as a painter and sculptor I have come to the conclusion that the only recording medium with which a visual artist can express the ideas of our time adequately is motion picture film.

      My own experience and observation of the work of contemporary painters and sculptors have convinced me that the traditional media of painting and sculpture are too limited for the full, or even satisfactory, depiction of the complexities of the twentieth century. I believe the artist who clings to these old tools dooms himself to repetition of ideas better expressed in previous cultures, or to...

    • A STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES (USA, 1961)
      (pp. 56-58)
      Maya Deren

      My films are for everyone.

      I include myself, for I believe that I am a part of, not apart from humanity; that nothing I may feel, think, perceive, experience, despise, desire, or despair of is really unknowable to any other man.

      I speak of man as a principle, not in the singular nor in the plural.

      I reject the accountant mentality which could dismember such a complete miracle in order to apply to it the simple arithmetic of statistics—which would reduce this principle to parts, to power pluralities and status singularities, as if man were an animal or a...

    • THE FIRST STATEMENT OF THE NEW AMERICAN CINEMA GROUP (USA, 1961)
      (pp. 58-60)
      New American Cinema Group

      In the course of the past three years we have been witnessing the spontaneous growth of a new generation of film makers—the Free Cinema in England, the Nouvelle Vague in France, the young movements in Poland, Italy, and Russia, and, in this country, the work of Lionel Rogosin, John Cassavetes, Alfred Leslie, Robert Frank, Edward Bland, Bert Stern and the Sanders brothers.

      The official cinema all over the world is running out of breath. It is morally corrupt, esthetically obsolete, thematically superficial, temperamentally boring. Even the seemingly worthwhile films, those that lay claim to high moral and esthetic standards...

    • FOUNDATION FOR THE INVENTION AND CREATION OF ABSURD MOVIES (USA, 1962)
      (pp. 61-61)
      Ron Rice

      Taylor Mead and I were often asked how we worked on the conception, actin [sic] and shooting ofThe Flower Thief. Merely answering this question would give away our whole secret of developing the kino-eye technique of advanced underground study and aplication [sic].

      The collaboration between a director and his actor can take a wide variety of forms and positions. In the classic Cinema there is a seperation [sic] of scenario and image, in short content and form. We decided to completely throw out content and concentrate only on form. After this was decided I called Hollywood and asked J.B....

    • FROM METAPHORS ON VISION (USA, 1963)
      (pp. 62-69)
      Stan Brakhage

      Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective, an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception. How many colors are there in a field of grass to the crawling baby unaware of “Green”? How many rainbows can light create for the untutored eye? How aware of variations in heat waves can that eye be? Imagine a world alive with incomprehensible objects and shimmering with an endless variety of movement and innumerable gradations of color. Imagine a...

    • KUCHAR 8mm FILM MANIFESTO (USA, 1964)
      (pp. 69-70)
      George Kuchar

      Yes, 8mm is a tool of defence in this society of mechanised corruption because through 8mm and its puny size we come closer to the dimension of the atom.

      We in this modern world of geological dormanicity are now experiencing an evolution evolving around minutenocities. We no longer think big except in the realm of nuclear bombardment, and therefore, it is now unusual to find human beings with little things. Eight mm is one of those little things, but 8mm becomes enormous when light from a projector bulb illuminates to a great dimension the abnormalities of the psychotic.

      In the...

    • FILM ANDEPANDAN [INDEPENDENTS] MANIFESTO (Japan, 1964)
      (pp. 70-72)
      Takahiko Iimura, Koichiro Ishizaki, Nobuhiko Obayashi, Jyushin Sato and Donald Richie

      For cinema of genuine freedom: The Film Andepandan Proposal

      With film critic Jyushin Sato and filmmaker Takahiko Iimura at its centre, the “Film Independents” project [with a call for the Film Independents Festival] is underway. The new art movement is drawing a lot of attention as it looks into the possibilities of private filmmaking which differentiates itself from commercial cinema.

      Their mission statement is as follows:

      The Japanese film industry has not yet given birth to truly independent cinema.

      Of course, there have been independent films and independent productions prior to us. Yet could we say that these products have...

    • DISCONTINUOUS FILMS (Canada, 1967)
      (pp. 72-76)
      Keewatin Dewdney

      Tony Conrad’sThe Flickeris a raw, archetypal statement about the nature of film, a statement which few understood.The Flickerrevealed at one stroke that the projector, not the camera, is the film-maker’s true medium. This is not to say film-makers are unaware of the projector and screen, the movie-house environment (they must learn to visualize a screen in the viewfinder of their camera). But this does say that the very use of the camera as a film-making tool has imposed the assumption of continuity on film, an assumption entirely foreign to the projector. Yet continuity has hypnotized both...

    • HAND-MADE FILMS MANIFESTO (Australia, 1968)
      (pp. 76-77)
      UBU Films and Albie Thoms

      1. Let no one say anymore that they can’t raise enough money to make a film—any scrap of film can be turned into a hand-made film at no cost.

      2. Let photography be no longer essential to filmmaking—hand-made films are made without a camera.

      3. Let literary considerations of plot and story no longer be essential to filmmaking—hand-made films are abstract.

      4. Let no more consideration be given to direction and editing—hand-made films are created spontaneously.

      5. Let no media be denied to hand-made films—they can be scratched, scraped, drawn, inked, coloured, dyed, painted, pissed...

    • CINEMA MANIFESTO (Australia, 1971)
      (pp. 77-78)
      Arthur Cantrill and Corinne Cantrill

      WE’VE EXHAUSTED THE HUMAN SITUATION as film material—we’ve seen a million love affairs, intrigues, socially committed films, anti-war films; we’re not interested in who’s up who and who’s paying any longer. We’ve been sated by countless films of Man and his confrontation with Life (mainly from East Europe—it didn’t get them very far). Freud and Marx are dead. All we want now is the film experience—the optical and aural stimulation it can give. We want to be intellectually involved with the film form. Concerned with thematterof film, rather than its content. (The greatest films are...

    • FOR A METAHISTORY OF FILM: COMMONPLACE NOTES AND HYPOTHESES (USA, 1971)
      (pp. 78-85)
      Hollis Frampton

      Once upon a time, according to reliable sources, history had its own Muse, and her name was Clio. She presided over the making of a class of verbal artifacts that extends from a half-light of written legend through, possibly, Gibbon.

      These artifacts shared the assumption that events are numerous and replete beyond the comprehension of a single mind. They proposed no compact systematic substitute for their concatenated world; rather, they made up an open set of rational fictions within that world.

      As made things strong in their own immanence, these fictions bid as fairly for our contemplative energy as any...

    • ELEMENTS OF THE VOID (Greece, 1972)
      (pp. 86-87)
      Gregory Markopoulos

      I am writing this essay in utter disbelief which lays bare the road of hope for the Temenos.

      Possibilities and contributions should lead naturally, one from another. They do not. The situation is impossible, and at the same time the situation is improbable. Improbable because of the nature of particular men.

      It would seem that it might be in the interest of Man to change his nature as has been proposed at one of America’s greatest universities of Puritan origins. This would seem so, even now, with the advance of certain measures adopted by populations. However, such controls, rather than...

    • SMALL GAUGE MANIFESTO (USA, 1980)
      (pp. 87-87)
      JoAnn Elam and Chuck Kleinhans

      Small gauge film (regular 8 and Super 8) is low cost, technically accessible, and appropriate for small scale viewing.

      Because it’s cheap and you can shoot a lot of film, filming can be flexible and spontaneous. Because the equipment is light and unobtrusive, the filming relationship can be immediate and personal.

      The appropriate viewing situation is a small space with a small number of people. Therefore it invites films made for or with specific audiences. Often the filmmaker and/or people filmed are present at a screening. The filming and viewing events can be considered as part of the editing process....

    • CINEMA OF TRANSGRESSION MANIFESTO (USA, 1985)
      (pp. 88-89)
      Nick Zedd

      We who have violated the laws, commands and duties of the avant-garde; i.e. to bore, tranquilize and obfuscate through a fluke process dictated by practical convenience stand guilty as charged. We openly renounce and reject the entrenched academic snobbery which erected a monument to laziness known as structuralism and proceeded to lock out those filmmakers who possessed the vision to see through this charade. We refuse to take their easy approach to cinematic creativity; an approach which ruined the underground of the sixties when the scourge of the film school took over. Legitimizing every mindless manifestation of sloppy movie making...

    • MODERN, ALL TOO MODERN (USA, 1988)
      (pp. 89-100)
      Keith Sanborn

      Lenin to Lunacharsky: “Amongst our people you are reported to be a patron of art so you must remember that of all the arts for us the most important is cinema.”

      Goebbels on Potemkin: “It is a marvelously well made film, and one which reveals incomparable cinematic artistry. Its uniquely distinctive quality is the line it takes. This is a film, which could turn anyone with no firm ideological convictions into a Bolshevik. Which means that a work of art can very well accommodate a political alignment, and that even the most obnoxious attitude can be communicated if it is...

    • OPEN LETTER TO THE EXPERIMENTAL FILM CONGRESS: LET’S SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT (Canada, 1989)
      (pp. 100-101)

      We challenge the official History promoted by the International Experimental Film Congress to be held in Toronto this Spring. The time is long overdue to unwrite the Institutional Canon of Master Works of the Avant-Garde. It is time to shift focus from the History of Film to the position of film within the construction of history. The narratives which take up this new task must respect the complexity of relations among the many competing and overlapping histories which make up the activity within the field.

      We are concerned by the tone which pervades the announcements for the Congress. The recognition...

    • ANTI-100 YEARS OF CINEMA MANIFESTO (USA, 1996)
      (pp. 102-103)
      Jonas Mekas

      As you well know it was God who created this Earth and everything on it. And he thought it was all great. All painters and poets and musicians sang and celebrated the creation and that was all OK. But not for real. Something was missing. So about 100 years ago God decided to create the motion picture camera. And he did so. And then he created a filmmaker and said, “Now here is an instrument called the motion picture camera. Go and film and celebrate the beauty of the creation and the dreams of human spirit, and have fun with...

    • THE DECALOGUE (Czech Republic, 1999)
      (pp. 103-105)
      Jan Švankmajer

      1. Remember that there is only one poetry. The antithesis of poetry is professional expertise.

      Before you start filming, write a poem, paint a picture, put together a collage, write a book or an essay etc. Because only the nurture of the universality of expression will guarantee that you create a good film.

      2. Succumb totally to your obsessions. You have nothing better anyway. Obsessions are relics of your childhood. And from those very depths of your childhood come the greatest treasures.

      The gate has to always remain open in that direction. It’s not about memories but about emotions. It’s...

    • YOUR FILM FARM MANIFESTO ON PROCESS CINEMA (Canada, 2012)
      (pp. 105-106)
      Philip Hoffman

      Enter through the big barn doors, without sketches, scripts, props, actors, or cell phones. Your films will surface through the relationship between your camera and what passes in front. It may take the whole of the workshop for you to shake away the habit of planning, what has become the guiding light of the profit-driven film world. Without the blanket of preconception, the processes ofcollect, reflect, revisemirror the underpinnings of your formation.

      Dive deep to encounter those strange fish who stare without seeing. Mental processes effect the physical when the mind is open to what appears in front...

  6. 2. NATIONAL AND TRANSNATIONAL CINEMAS
    • [2 Introduction]
      (pp. 109-111)

      Although there has been a great deal of scholarship on the emergence and development of national cinemas, the role played by film manifestos in their histories has often been marginalized. The waves and movements that arose in Europe from the rubble of World War II were greatly tied to film manifestos. There are many salient reasons for this: the destruction of the European infrastructure from six years of war and bombing meant that all industry, including the creative ones, had to be reimagined. On an economic level, the Marshall Plan meant that a majority of European screens were showing Hollywood...

    • FROM “THE GLASS EYE” (Italy, 1933)
      (pp. 112-116)
      Leo Longanesi

      I do not believe that, in Italy, there is need for set designers to make a film. We should put together films simple and unadorned in their mise-en-scène, films without artifice, directed as much as possible from the real.

      It is in fact the real that is missing from our films. We need to throw ourselves into the streets, carry our cameras into byways, courtyards, barracks, and railway stations. We need only leave the beaten path, stop at some un-predetermined point, and observe what goes on during a half hour, with eyes attentive and without stylistic preconceptions, to make a...

    • THE ARCHERS’ MANIFESTO (UK, 1942)
      (pp. 116-117)
      Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

      One: we owe allegiance to nobody except the financial interests which provide our money; and, to them, the sole responsibility of ensuring them a profit, not a loss.

      Two: every single foot in our films is our own responsibility and nobody else’s. We refuse to be guided or coerced by any influence but our own judgment.

      Three: when we start work on a new idea we must be a year ahead, not only of our competitors, but also of the times. A real film, from idea to universal release, takes a year. Or more.

      Four: no artist believes in escapism....

    • WHAT IS WRONG WITH INDIAN FILMS? (India, 1948)
      (pp. 117-120)
      Satyajit Ray

      One of the most significant phenomena of our time has been the development of the cinema from a turn-of-the-century mechanical toy into the century’s most potent and versatile art form. In its early chameleon-like phase the cinema was used variously as an extension of photography, as a substitute for the theater and the music hall, and as a part of the magician’s paraphernalia. By the twenties, the cynics and know-alls had stopped smirking and turned down their nose.

      Today, the cinema commands respect accorded to any other form of creative expression. In the immense complexity of its creative process, it...

    • BUÑUEL THE POET (Mexico, 1951)
      (pp. 120-123)
      Octavio Paz

      The release ofL’Age d’orandUn chien andalousignals the first considered irruption of poetry into the art of cinematography. The marriage of the film image to the poetic image, creating a new reality, inevitably appeared scandalous and subversive—as indeed it was. The subversive nature of Buñuel’s early films resides in the fact that, hardly touched by the hand of poetry, the insubstantial conventions (social, moral, or artistic) of which our reality is made fall away. And from those ruins rises a new truth, that of man and his desire. Buñuel shows us that a man with his...

    • FRENCH CINEMA IS OVER (France, 1952)
      (pp. 123-124)
      Serge Berna, Guy Debord, François Dufrêne, Monique Geoffrey, Jean-Isidore Isou, Yolande du Luart, Marc’O, Gabriel Pomerand, Poucette and Gil J. Wolman

      A number of men, dissatisfied with what they have been given, surpass the world of official expressions and the festivals of its poverty.

      After L’ESTHETIQUE DU CINEMA by Isidore ISOU, TAMBOURS DU JUGEMENT PREMIER, the essay in imaginary cinema by François DUFRENE, systematizes to the utmost extreme the exhaustion of filmic means, by locating it beyond all of its technology.

      Guy-Ernest DEBORD with

      HURLEMENTS EN FAVEUR DE SADE arrives at the end of cinema in its insurrectional phase.

      After these refusals, definitively outside the norms which you like, the

      CINEMA NUCLEAIRE by MARC’O. integrates the exhibition space and the spectator...

    • SOME IDEAS ON THE CINEMA (Italy, 1953)
      (pp. 124-133)
      Cesare Zavattini

      No doubt one’s first and most superficial reaction to everyday reality is that it is tedious. Until we are able to overcome some moral and intellectual laziness, in fact, this reality will continue to appear uninteresting. One shouldn’t be astonished that the cinema has always felt the natural, unavoidable necessity to insert a “story” in the reality to make it exciting and “spectacular.” All the same, it is clear that such a method evades a direct approach to everyday reality, and suggests that it cannot be portrayed without the intervention of fantasy or artifice.

      The most important characteristic, and the...

    • A CERTAIN TENDENCY IN FRENCH CINEMA (France, 1954)
      (pp. 133-144)
      François Truffaut

      These notes have no other object than to attempt to define a certain tendency of the French cinema—a tendency called “psychological realism”—and to sketch its limits.

      If the French cinema exists by means of about a hundred films a year, it is well understood that only ten or twelve merit the attention of critics and cinephiles, the attention, therefore of “Cahiers.”

      These ten or twelve films constitute what has been prettily named the “Tradition of Quality”; they force, by their ambitiousness, the admiration of the foreign press, defend the French flag twice a year at Cannes and at...

    • SALAMANCA MANIFESTO & CONCLUSIONS OF THE CONGRESS OF SALAMANCA (Spain, 1955)
      (pp. 144-149)
      Juan Antonio Bardem

      Spanish cinema lives in isolation. Isolated not only from the world but from our own reality . . . Spanish cinema is still a cinema of painted dolls. The problem with Spanish cinema is that it has no problems, that it is not that witness of our time which our time requires of every human creation. . . . Our purpose must be to give content to this uninhabited body of Spanish cinema, a content which must be inspired by our general traditions (painting, theatre, fiction). This is plainly a program for Spanish cinema! It will enable it to save...

    • FREE CINEMA MANIFESTOS (UK, 1956–1959)
      (pp. 149-152)
      Committee for Free Cinema

      Lorenza Mazzetti, Lindsay Anderson, Karel Reisz, and Tony Richardson

      These films were not made together; nor with the idea of showing them together. But when they came together, we felt they had an attitude in common. Implicit in this attitude is a belief in freedom, in the importance of people and in the significance of the everyday.

      As filmmakers we believe that

      No film can be too personal.

      The image speaks. Sound amplifies and comments. Size is irrelevant.

      Perfection is not an aim.

      An attitude means a style. A style means an attitude.This program is not put before you...

    • THE OBERHAUSEN MANIFESTO (West Germany, 1962)
      (pp. 152-153)
      Alexander Kluge, Edgar Reitz, Bodo Blüthner, Boris von Borresholm, Christian Doermer, Bernhard Dörries, Heinz Furchner, Rob Houwer, Ferdinand Khittl, Pitt Koch, Walter Krüttner, Dieter Lemmel, Hans Loeper, Ronald Martini, Hansjürgen Pohland, Raimond Ruehl, Peter Schamoni, Detten Schleiermacher, Fritz Schwennicke, Haro Senft, Franz-Josef Spieker, Hans Rolf Strobel, Heinz Tichawsky, Wolfgang Urchs, Herbert Vesely and Wolf Wirth

      The collapse of the conventional German film finally removes the economic basis for a mode of filmmaking whose attitude and practice we reject. With it the new film has a chance to come to life.

      German short films by young authors, directors, and producers have in recent years received a large number of prizes at international festivals and gained the recognition of international critics. These works and these successes show that the future of the German film lies in the hands of those who have proven that they speak a new film language.

      Just as in other countries, the short...

    • UNTITLED [OBERHAUSEN 1965] (West Germany, 1965)
      (pp. 153-154)
      Jean-Marie Straub, Rodolf Thome, Dirk Alvermann, Klaus Lemke, Peter Nestler, Reinald Schnell, Dieter Süverkrüp, Kurt Ulrich and Max Zihlmann

      [West German] Short Film Days have a meaning only when they help to discover still unknown [West German] filmmakers.

      Lenica, Kristil, Kluge, and so on, are no longer discoverable.

      However, for three years in this country, Peter Nestler, the truest and most reliable filmmaker, has had three of his films,Aufsätze[Essays],Mülheim(Ruhr), andÖdenwaldstettenrejected by the Selection Committee.

      The same happened to the very good-looking (first) film,Die Versöhnung[The Reconciliation], by Thome-Lemke-Zihlman.

      And there are still others.

      J.-M. S.

      This year the Selection Committee has rejected films whose authors dared to take reality into serious consideration....

    • THE MANNHEIM DECLARATION (West Germany, 1967)
      (pp. 154-155)
      Joseph von Sternberg, Alexander Kluge, Jacob Heidbüchel, Reiner Keller, Fee Vaillant, Herbert Pötgens, K. F. Göltz, Walter Talmon-Gros, Edgar Reitz, Hans Rolf Strobel, Norbert Kückelmann, Michael Lentz, Heinrich Tichawsky and Peter M. Ladiges

      Six years have passed since the Oberhausen Declaration. The renewal of German film has not yet taken place. The initial international successes have suggested new directions. Before one can move in these directions they are already being blocked off again.

      The undersigned repeat the Oberhausen demand for the renewal of German film. They wish to intervene in the international duping of the public and declare:

      1. A film industry even in business matters cannot do without imagination. For that reason there is no such thing as strictly business matters.

      2. The future of an industry is only as good as...

    • SITGES MANIFESTO (Spain, 1967)
      (pp. 155-157)
      Manuel Revuelta, Antonio Artero, Joachin Jordà and Julián Marcos

      Conclusions of the First International Congress of Film Schools, Sitges, October 1967:

      1. We advocate the creation of an independent cinema, free of any industrial political or bureaucratic constraint.

      To obtain this the following conditions are indispensable:

      (a) Free access to professional activity, with the following implications.

      (b) The abolition of the Sindicato Nacional del Espectáculo [National Entertainment Syndicate] and the setting-up of a truly democratic union.

      (c) The abolition of the “prior permit” for shooting a film and of any other kind of permits.

      (d) Freedom to show films without control by the government or any other official body....

    • HOW TO MAKE A CANADIAN FILM (Canada, 1967)
      (pp. 157-160)
      Guy Glover

      It is understood that when one speaks of “a Canadian film” one has in mind ONLY:

      (a) a feature-length film; or

      (b) a multi-screen presentation of unspecified complexity but tending to the “total.”

      A film is not a piano. Anyone can “play” a film without being obliged to learn or practice it. The less you know about the rules and technique the better.

      A young man makes better films than an older man.

      An adolescent makes better films than a young man.

      A child, if not discriminated against by the educational system, would make better films than an adolescent.

      In...

    • HOW TO NOT MAKE A CANADIAN FILM (Canada, 1967)
      (pp. 161-162)
      Claude Jutra

      1) Choose an uncommercial subject, so intimate as to be indecent, uninteresting, futile, immoral, sordid, etc. . . .

      2) Make yourself a big star, and crowd around with old pals.

      3) Don’t write a line of script, but improvise day by day, not too seriously, but convincing yourself the result will be coherent and significant.

      4) Shoot everything in 16mm black and white, with makeshift equipment.

      5) Have your best friends participate, call them to meetings with only a few minutes’ notice at any hour of the day or night; make them understand they’re working for the sake of...

    • FROM “THE ESTATES GENERAL OF THE FRENCH CINEMA, MAY 1968” (France, 1968)
      (pp. 162-165)
      Thierry Derocles, Michel Demoule, Claude Chabrol and Marin Karmitz

      Proposed by Thierry Derocles and drawn up by Michel Demoule, Claude Chabrol, Marin Karmitz. This was considered to be totally utopian by some and by others (a growing number, it’s true) as the only truly revolutionary project presented. It was to this uniqueness that it owed its extremely positive role of stimulus, agitation, and provocation of bad faith. But its role was also in some senses a negative one. Its defenders opposed the final project so violently that they prevented any serious debate, and this hinged on a confusion which was never brought out: should the new structures in question...

    • MANIFESTO OF THE NEW CINEMA MOVEMENT (India, 1968)
      (pp. 165-168)
      Arun Kaul and Mrinal Sen

      The Indian film, especially Hindi Cinema, is at its lowest ebb today. Spiralling costs of production, rocketing star prices, exorbitant rates of interest charged by financiers, widespread acceptance of “black money” transactions in all sectors of the film industry—all this, together with the inane stress of non-essential and an incredible dearth of ideas and imagination in creative matters, has reduced the Indian film industry to a sorry mess. Most of the film-makers—directors, writers and all—seem to have stopped thinking. Almost to everybody, making a film seems to be just a mechanical business of putting together popular stars,...

    • WHAT IS TO BE DONE? (France, 1970)
      (pp. 169-170)
      Jean-Luc Godard

      1. We must make political films.

      2. We must make filmspolitically.

      3. 1 and 2 are antagonistic to each other and belong to two opposing conceptions of the world.

      4. 1 belongs to the idealistic and metaphysical conception of the world.

      5. 2 belongs to the Marxist and dialectical conception of the world.

      6. Marxism struggles against idealism and the dialectical against the metaphysical.

      7. This struggle is the struggle between the old and the new, between new ideas and old ones.

      8. The social existence of men determines their thought.

      9. The struggle between the old and the...

    • THE WINNIPEG MANIFESTO (Canada, 1974)
      (pp. 170-171)
      Denys Arcand, Colin Low, Don Shebib, David Acomba, Linda Beth, Milad Bessada, Kirwan Cox, Jack Darcus, Martin DeFalco, Sandra Gathercole, Jack Grey, Ági Ibrányi-Kiss, Len Klady, Peter Pearson, Tom Shandel, Jean-Pierre Tadros, Frank Vitale, Les Wedman and John Wright

      We the undersigned filmmakers and filmworkers wish to voice our belief that the present system of film production/distribution/exhibition works to the extreme disadvantage of the Canadian filmmaker and film audience. We wish to state unequivocally that film is an expression and affirmation of the cultural reality of this country first, and a business second.

      We believe the present crisis in the feature film industry presents us with an extraordinary opportunity. The half-hearted measures taken to date have failed. It is now clear that slavishly following foreign examples does not work. We need public alternatives at every level in the film...

    • HAMBURG DECLARATION OF GERMAN FILMMAKERS (West Germany, 1979)
      (pp. 172-172)

      On the occasion of the Hamburg Film Festival we German filmmakers have come together. Seventeen years after Oberhausen we have taken stock.

      The strength of the German film is its variety. In three months the eighties will begin. Imagination does not allow itself to be governed. Committee heads cannot decide what the productive film should do. The German film of the eighties can no longer be governed by outside forces like committees, institutions, and interest groups as it has been in the past.

      Above all:

      We will not let ourselves be divided

      —the feature film from the documentary film...

    • MANIFESTO I (Denmark, 1984)
      (pp. 173-174)
      Lars von Trier

      Everything seems to be all right: film-makers are in an unsullied relationship with their products, possibly a relationship with a hint of routine, but, nonetheless, a good and solid relationship, where everyday problems fill the time more than adequately, so thatthey aloneform the content! In other words, an ideal marriage that not even the neighbours could be upset by: no noisy quarrels in the middle of the night . . . no half-baked compromising episodes in the stairwells, but a union between both parties: the film-maker and his “film-wife,” to everyone’s satisfaction . . . at peace with...

    • MANIFESTO II (Denmark, 1987)
      (pp. 174-174)
      Lars von Trier

      Everything seems fine. Young men are living in stable relationships with a new generation of films. The birth-control methods which are assumed to have contained the epidemic have only served to make birth control more effective: no unexpected creations, no illegitimate children—the genes are intact. These young men’s relationships resemble the endless stream of Grand Balls in a bygone age. There are also those who live together in rooms with no furniture. But their love is growth without soul, replication without any bite. Their “wildness” lacks discipline and their “discipline” lacks wildness.

      The bagatelle is humble and all-encompassing. It...

    • MANIFESTO III: I CONFESS! (Denmark, 1990)
      (pp. 174-175)
      Lars von Trier

      Seemingly all is well: Film director Lars von Trier is a scientist, artist, and human being. And yet I say: I am a human being. But I’m an artist. But I’m a film director.

      I cry as I write these lines, for how sham was my attitude. Who am I to lecture and chastise? Who am I to scornfully brush aside other people’s lives and work? My shame is only compounded by my apology that I had been seduced by the arrogance of science falling to the ground as a lie! For it is true that I have been trying...

    • THE CINEMA WE NEED (Canada, 1985)
      (pp. 176-183)
      R. Bruce Elder

      The task of achieving some clarity about our cultural situation and of developing the means to deal with the present cultural crisis is an urgent one—I believe the most important task now demanded of Canadians, even more important, all the exhortatory rhetoric to the contrary, than the formulation of social policy on employment in an era of electronic technology.

      To formulate good policy on these matters, some questions about “the good itself” must first be thought through and the consequent problems—what degree of equality in the distribution of goods is proper in a just society? What would be...

    • PATHWAYS TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NIGERIAN FILM INDUSTRY (Nigeria, 1985)
      (pp. 183-192)
      Ola Balogun

      It has long been evident that most African nations are severely handicapped in the mass communications field by the inability of our various national leaderships to grasp the crucial role of mass media in the modern era. This deficiency of long-term vision and understanding on the part of the vast majority of African leaders is further compounded by the fact that in most cases our leaders tend to rely heavily on the views and advice of Civil Service administrators who are about twenty years or so behind time in their perception of the present age, and whose heavy-footed bureaucratic logic...

    • MANIFESTO OF 1988 (German Democratic Republic, 1988)
      (pp. 192-194)
      Young DEFA Filmmakers

      1. Motion pictures are a medium of society. Stagnation in the control of influence over our motion pictures and the social processes evident in recent years represents principally the surrender of our responsibility, but at the same time the expression of the social condition. Society must reveal itself in every aspect to the motion pictures. It must trust this medium and challenge and support it. We declare our willingness to actively and positively cooperate in the socialistic development of our society and to assume responsibilities.

      2. The motion picture theater in the GDR is in a state of crisis. This...

    • IN PRAISE OF A POOR CINEMA (Scotland, 1993)
      (pp. 194-201)
      Colin McArthur

      “. . . to ensure the development of a viable, vigorous, and substantial Scottish film industry designed to attract and deploy the talents of Scottish film-makers and to enable them to make films in their own country . . .” (From the 1991 Annual Report, Scottish Film Production Fund.)

      This, of course, is a fantasy which has beguiled the Scottish Film Production Fund (SFPF) and its parent body, the Scottish Film Council (SFC), since its inception in 1982. As, in these post-Marxist days, babies are being thrown out with the bathwater all over Europe, many indispensable concepts are being jettisoned....

    • DOGME ’95 MANIFESTO AND VOW OF CHASTITY (Denmark, 1995)
      (pp. 201-203)
      Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg

      DOGME 95 is a collective of film directors founded in Copenhagen in spring 1995.

      DOGME 95 has the expressed goal of countering “certain tendencies” in the cinema today.

      DOGME 95 is a rescue action!

      In 1960 enough was enough! The movie was dead and called for resurrection. The goal was correct but the means were not! The new wave proved to be a ripple that washed ashore and turned to muck.

      Slogans of individualism and freedom created works for a while, but no changes. The wave was up for grabs, like the directors themselves. The wave was never stronger than...

    • I SINEMA MANIFESTO (Indonesia, 1999)
      (pp. 203-204)
      Dimas Djayadinigrat, Enison Sinaro, Ipang Wahid, Jay Subiykto, Mira Lesmana, Nan T. Achnas, Richard Butario, Riri Riza, Rizal Mantovani, Sentot Sahid, Srikaton and Nayato Fio Nuala

      1. Film as Freedom of Expression.

      2. To find a new art form and genre in Indonesian film industry.

      3. To maintain originality from censorship.

      4. The ability to use any film material to achieve feature film standard.

      5. To maintain independence in production and distribution....

  7. 3. THIRD CINEMAS, COLONIALISM, DECOLONIZATION, AND POSTCOLONIALISM
    • [3 Introduction]
      (pp. 207-208)

      Next to the avant-garde, the debates surrounding Third Cinema have produced more manifestos than any other area of the cinema. This chapter begins with a collection of the major Third Cinema manifestos and their precursors in Latin America, which trace the developing sense of urgency in Latin America to produce a local cinema that addresses the needs and aspirations of both Latin American filmmakers and audiences. Mexico, often left out of the debates about the need for aThird Cinema—a key term coined in one of the manifestos contained herein—was particularly fertile ground for the development of an...

    • MANIFESTO OF THE NEW CINEMA GROUP (Mexico, 1961)
      (pp. 209-210)
      El grupo nuevo cine

      Hereby the undersigned the New Cinema group, filmmakers, aspiring filmmakers, critics and cinema club owners; we declare that our objectives are the following:

      Improving the depressing state of Mexican Cinema. In order to accomplish that we feel it is imperative to open the doors to new filmmakers. In our opinion, nothing justifies the obstacles presented to those (directors, screenwriters, photographers, etc.) capable of making new cinema in Mexico, which without a doubt will be a far superior cinema than the one today. Any plan for renewal of the national cinema that does not take into account this problem is deemed...

    • CINEMA AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT (Argentina, 1962)
      (pp. 211-217)
      Fernando Birri

      The following answers should all be understood, and very concretely so, as concerned with a sub-cinematography, that of Argentina and the region of underdeveloped Latin America of which it is a part. Furthermore, they reflect the point of view of a film director from a capitalist and neocolonialist country, the opposite pole from the situation in Cuba.

      A cinema which develops them.

      A cinema which brings them consciousness, which awakens consciousness; which clarifies matters; which strengthens the revolutionary consciousness of those among them who already possess this; which fires them; which disturbs, worries, shocks and weakens those who have a...

    • THE AESTHETICS OF HUNGER (Brazil, 1965)
      (pp. 218-220)
      Glauber Rocha

      Dispensing with the informative introduction that has become so characteristic of discussions about Latin America, I prefer to discuss the relationship between our culture and “civilised” culture in less limiting terms than those which characterise the analysis of the European observer. Thus, while Latin America laments its general misery, the foreign observer cultivates a taste for that misery, not as a tragicsymptom,but merely as a formal element in his field of interest. The Latin American neither communicates his real misery to the “civilised” man, nor does the “civilised” man truly comprehend the misery of the Latin American.

      Basically,...

    • FOR AN IMPERFECT CINEMA (Cuba, 1969)
      (pp. 220-230)
      Julio García Espinosa

      Nowadays, perfect cinema—technically and artistically masterful—is almost always reactionary cinema. The major temptation facing Cuban cinema at this time—when it is achieving its objective of becoming a cinema of quality, one which is culturally meaningful within the revolutionary process—is precisely that of transforming itself into a perfect cinema.

      The “boom” of Latin American cinema—with Brazil and Cuba in the forefront, according to the applause and approval of the European intelligentsia—is similar, in the present moment, to the one of which the Latin American novel had previously been the exclusive benefactor. Why do they applaud...

    • TOWARDS A THIRD CINEMA: NOTES AND EXPERIENCES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A CINEMA OF LIBERATION IN THE THIRD WORLD (Argentina, 1969)
      (pp. 230-250)
      Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino

      Just a short time ago it would have seemed like a Quixotic adventure in the colonised, neocolonised, or even the imperialist nations themselves to make any attempt to createfilms of decolonisationthat turned their back on or actively opposed the System. Until recently, film had been synonymous with spectacle or entertainment: in a word, it was one more consumer good. At best, films succeeded in bearing witness to the decay of bourgeois values and testifying to social injustice. As a rule, films only dealt with effect, never with cause; it was cinema of mystification or anti-historicism. It wassurplus...

    • FILM MAKERS AND THE POPULAR GOVERNMENT POLITICAL MANIFESTO (Chile, 1970)
      (pp. 250-252)
      Comité de cine de la unidad popular

      Chilean film makers, it is time for us all to undertake, together with our people, the great task of national liberation and the construction of socialism.

      It is time for us to begin to redeem our own values in order to affirm our cultural and political identity.

      Let us no longer allow the dominant classes to uproot the symbols which the people have produced in the course of their long struggle for liberation.

      Let us no longer permit national values to be used to uphold the capitalist regime.

      Let us start from the class instinct of the people and with...

    • CONSCIOUSNESS OF A NEED (Uruguay, 1970)
      (pp. 253-256)
      Mario Handler

      Look here,Marcha:In Uruguay the cinema has always found itself in an exceptionally difficult situation. Now—even more so. At the same time, cinema is needed more than ever, and we have a greater consciousness of this need.

      In terms of economic and technical resources today, we are still five years behind Bolivia, ten years behind Chile and Venezuela, then years behind Litorial University, behind Cuba before the revolution; we are behind everyone. It is possible that we have more resources than Paraguay, a country that I do not know much about. What has changed in the past year...

    • MILITANT CINEMA: AN INTERNAL CATEGORY OF THIRD CINEMA (Argentina, 1971)
      (pp. 256-258)
      Octavio Getino and Fernando Solanas

      In a previous article, we defined three types of cinema: thefirst cinemaor overtly commercial cinema based on the American model; thesecond cinema,or “auteur cinema,” a variant of first cinema, and similarly subject to the “owners of cinema” or to surplus value cinema; and thethird cinema,the cinema of liberation.

      These notes are meant to develop that work, specifically one of the categories ofthird cinema,its most advanced category:militant cinema.

      Thethird cinema,

      . . . that which recognizes in the anti-imperialist struggles of the people of the Third World and of its equivalents...

    • FOR COLOMBIA 1971: MILITANCY AND CINEMA (Colombia, 1971)
      (pp. 258-264)
      Carlos Alvarez

      In Latin America today, the act of taking up a camera to make a film is dangerous. And this is a good thing.

      Social events and their development demand, and themselves give rise to, categorical definitions.

      The vacillating men on the fence, on good terms with both God and the Devil, are reminders of more agreeable, less defining historical moments.

      The presence of the class struggle within film culture which has always existed but which people have not wanted to recognise up until now, has heightened in the last decade with an increasing violence. The Cuban Revolution was the key...

    • THE CINEMA: ANOTHER FACE OF COLONISED QUÉBEC (Canada, 1971)
      (pp. 264-272)
      Association professionnelle des cinéastes du Québec

      Once again the issue of film censorship is occupying the front pages of the newspapers. The debate is taking place in an atmosphere of total confusion: a steady stream of declarations and counter-declarations, press conferences and telegrams-supporting, answering, contradicting each other assaults the public from all sides. Political leaders and cult leaders, movie merchants and movie-makers, hurl insults back and forth. The critics for their part seem completely baffled by it all and are content to publish the telegrams and declarations(Le Devoir, Montreal Star, Québec Presse, Montréal Latin)or at best to summarize the situation superficially(La Presse).¹ All...

    • 8 MILLIMETERS VERSUS 8 MILLIONS (Mexico, 1972)
      (pp. 272-273)
      Jaime Humberto Hermosillo, Arturo Ripstein, Paul Leduc, Felipe Cazals, Rafael Castanedo, Eduardo Maldonado, Gustavo Alatriste, Emilio García Riera, David Ramón, Tomás Pérez Turrent and Fernando Gou

      We hereby declare before the public that the following people: Felipe Cazals, Arturo Ripstein, Paul Leduc, Rafael Castanedo, Eduardo Maldonado, Gustavo Alatriste, Jaime Humberto Hermosillo and the spokesmen Emilio García Riera, David Ramón, Tomás Pérez Turrent and Fernando Gou, are taking advantage of the word “INDEPENDENT” for their commercial and promotional aims and are all going to the most remote region of Mexico to hold a meeting which will be a dialogue with the voices of silence amplified by their official spokesmen.

      To this manoeuvre we reply with this declaration of principles:

      1) That he who produces a film of...

    • MANIFESTO OF THE PALESTINIAN CINEMA GROUP (Palestine, 1973)
      (pp. 273-275)
      Palestinian Cinema Group

      The Arab cinema has for too long delighted in dealing with subjects having no connection to reality or dealing with it in a superficial manner. Based on stereotypes, this approach has created detestable habits among the Arab viewers for whom the cinema has become a kind of opium. It has led the public away from the real problems, dimming its lucidity and conscience.

      At times throughout the history of Arab cinema, of course, there have been serious attempts to express the reality of our world and its problematic, but they have been rapidly smothered by the supporters of reaction who...

    • RESOLUTIONS OF THE THIRD WORLD FILMMAKERS MEETING (Algeria, 1973)
      (pp. 275-284)

      The Committee on People’s Cinema the role of cinema and filmmakers in the third world against imperialism and neocolonialism consisted of the following filmmakers and observers: Fernando Birri (Argentina); Humberto Rios (Bolivia); Manuel Perez (Cuba); Jorge Silva (Columbia); Jorge Cedron (Argentina); Moussa Diakite (Republic of Guinea); Flora Gomes (Guinea-Bissou); Mohamed Abdelwahad (Morocco); El Hachmi Cherif (Algeria); Lamine Merbah (Algeria); Mache Khaled (Algeria); Fettar Sid Ali (Algeria); Bensalah Mohamed (Algeria); Meziani Abdelhakim (Algeria). Observers: Jan Lindquist (Sweden); Josephine (Guinea-Bissau); and Salvatore Piscicelli (Italy).

      The committee met on December 11, 12, and 13, 1973, in Algiers, under the chairmanship of Lamine Merbah....

    • THE LUZ E AÇÃO MANIFESTO (Brazil, 1973)
      (pp. 284-285)
      Carlos Diegues, Glauber Rocha, Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, Leon Hirszman, Miguel Faria, Nelson Pereira dos Santos and Walter Lima Jr.

      Since 1968/69, our films have been victims of the cultural exorcism that has swept the country. New tendencies and emergent standards—official or not—have stifled us, but at the same time have permitted us time for reflection. And we have been silent.

      The silence has animated old rancors and has permitted the “vengeance” that has lasted now for four years. In the cultural desert in which Brazil has been transformed, solitary megalomaniaccangaceirosride the beats of their neuroses, firing wildly at whatever shows signs of life.

      We’ve had enough.

      We’re no longer willing to peacefully exist with the...

    • PROBLEMS OF FORM AND CONTENT IN REVOLUTIONARY CINEMA (Bolivia, 1976)
      (pp. 286-294)
      Jorge Sanjinés

      Revolutionary cinema must seek beauty not as an end but as a means. This implies a dialectical relationship between beauty and subject matter. For a work to be effective, this relationship must be correct. If it is not, the result will be nothing more than a pamphlet, perfect in what it says but schematic and gross in its form. The lack of coherent creative form will limit the film’s effectiveness, destroy the ideological dynamics of its content, and give us nothing more than an outline and superficiality, without real substance, humanity or love. These qualities can only appear when expression...

    • MANIFESTO OF THE NATIONAL FRONT OF CINEMATOGRAPHERS (Mexico, 1975)
      (pp. 294-296)
      Paul Leduc, Jorge Fons, Raul Araiza, Felipe Cazals, José Estrada, Jaime Humberto Hermosillo, Alberto Isaac, Gonzalo Martínez, Sergio Olhovich, Julián Pastor, Juan Manuel Torres and Salomón Láiter

      That the Mexican cinema has until recently been one of the main ideological institutions supporting an unjust and dependent social order.

      That it has been an active agent of cultural colonialism exploiting the ignorance, the illiteracy and hunger of the country and the continent.

      That through alienating products it imposes ideological values and patterns of conduct that have nothing to do with the essence of the Mexican and Latin American man.

      That due to the incompetence of the State to dictate a coherent cinematographic policy to the needs of the people; the national cinema was systematically looted by private producers...

    • THE ALGIERS CHARTER ON AFRICAN CINEMA (Algeria, 1975)
      (pp. 296-298)
      FEPACI (Fédération panafricaine des cinéastes)

      For a responsible, free and committed cinema.

      This charter was adopted at the Second Congress of the FEPACI (Fédération Panafricaine des Cinéastes) in Algiers, January 1975.

      Contemporary African societies are still objectively undergoing an experience of domination exerted on a number of levels: political, economic and cultural. Cultural domination, which is all the more dangerous for being insidious, imposes on our peoples models of behaviour and systems of values whose essential function is to buttress the ideological and economic ascendancy of the imperialist powers. The main channels open to this form of control are supplied by the new technologies of...

    • DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND GOALS OF THE NICARAGUAN INSTITUTE OF CINEMA (Nicaragua, 1979)
      (pp. 298-299)
      Nicaraguan Institute of Cinema

      Until the day of the triumph of the Popular Sandinista Revolution, Nicaragua was a country dominated by the most bestial of Latin American dictatorships: the Somocista Dynasty.

      This dynasty was nothing more than the expression of a secular domination imposed on our homeland by North American imperialism. Submitted to sacking, exploitation, hunger, and misery by this shady, reactionary, and anti-popular force, Nicaragua also had to confront a systematic and entrenched aggression bent on uprooting its national identity.

      In the heat of war against this force, the Sandinista cinema was born, out of the need to gather the cinematic testimony of...

    • WHAT IS THE CINEMA FOR US? (Mauritania, 1979)
      (pp. 300-303)
      Med Hondo

      Throughout the world when people use the termcinema,they all refer more or less consciously to a single cinema, which for more than half a century has been created, produced, industrialised, programmed and then shown on the world’s screens:Euro-American cinema.

      This cinema has gradually imposed itself on a set of dominated peoples. With no means of protecting their own cultures, these peoples have been systematically invaded by diverse, cleverly articulated, cinematographic products. The ideologies of these products never “represent” their personality, their collective or private way of life, their cultural codes, and never reflect even minimally on their...

    • NIAMEY MANIFESTO OF AFRICAN FILMMAKERS (Niger, 1982)
      (pp. 303-307)
      FEPACI (Fédération panafricaine des cinéastes)

      The first international conference on cinema was held in Niamey, Niger, March 1–4, 1982. The participants were filmmakers, critics, officials from several African countries, and international cinema experts. The participants recognized the underdevelopment of cinema, including regular film productions in the majority of African countries.

      Further, the participants are convinced that African cinema must be committed to asserting the cultural identity of African peoples; be an effective means for international understanding, education, and entertainment; provide an incentive for development; and contribute to national and regional economic policies.

      The Conference started by making a serious evaluation of African and international...

    • BLACK INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING: A STATEMENT BY THE BLACK AUDIO FILM COLLECTIVE (UK, 1983)
      (pp. 307-309)
      John Akomfrah

      The area of black independent film-making will soon see the growth of a number of workshops established with the specific aim of catering for black film needs. We will also see a growth in the number of films made by members of these workshops. As in any other field of cultural activity and practice such a development calls for collective debate and discussion. Some of the important issues to be raised will be around the relationship between the workshop organisers and participants in the course. The others should obviously be about the nature and structure of the courses themselves.

      Prior...

    • FROM BIRTH CERTIFICATE OF THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF CINEMA AND TELEVISION IN SAN ANTONIO DE LOS BAÑOS, CUBA, NICKNAMED THE SCHOOL OF THREE WORLDS (Cuba, 1986)
      (pp. 309-312)
      Fernando Birri

      A few days after the beginning of the warm spring of 1986, surrounded by the turquoise blue Caribbean Sea, under a crescent moon, shipwrecked from Utopia, rescued from a world of imperial injustice and atomic madness, the Foundation for the New Latin American Cinema decided to create the International School of Cinema and Television in San Antonio de Los Baños, Cuba, Nicknamed the School of Three Worlds (Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia).

      The result of needs, experiences and reflections, of criticism and self-criticism over the thirty years of the New Latin American Cinema, this school, before its...

    • FeCAViP MANIFESTO (France, 1990)
      (pp. 312-313)
      Federation of Caribbean Audiovisual Professionals

      We, producers, filmmakers, screenwriters, technicians, and actors of the second Images Caraïbes Festival, 1990, being aware of the need to further develop the space within the Caribbean for professional workers in film and video, reflecting our special needs, and after having made a deep analysis of our reality, acknowledging the importance of film, TV, and video, decided to give ourselves the means in order to obtain the conditions necessary for the realization of the expression of the professionals working in film and video.

      So together, we have to:

      1. Create, produce, distribute, and broadcast the works of our young Caribbean...

    • FINAL COMMUNIQUE OF THE FIRST FRONTLINE FILM FESTIVAL AND WORKSHOP (Zimbabwe, 1990)
      (pp. 313-315)
      SADCC (South African Development Coordination Conference)

      The First Frontline Film Festival and Workshop held in Harare, Zimbabwe, 15–21 July 1990, under the aegis of the Ministry of Information, Posts and Telecommunications and with the unique support of the OAU, SADCC Secretariat and FEPACI, was a result of the need to identify actions in co-operation in order to reinforce solidarity and friendship among SADCC member states, particularly in the cultural field. It was also motivated by our recognition of the unique geographic and historic nature of this sub-region of the African continent.

      While being held under the seemingly “optimistic” atmosphere in the region as regards the...

    • POCHA MANIFESTO #1 (USA, 1994)
      (pp. 316-318)
      Sandra Peña-Sarmiento

      Throughout my life, I’ve constantly moved between cultures. My father is Mexican-American, my mother Bolivian, and I myself have been born and raised in suburban Southern California. In living a kind of “cultural nomadism” (drifting in and out of “heritages”) I grew frustrated with definitions in general—especially those imposed upon me by outside “authorities.” This wasn’t a simple reaction to the vocabulary of classification, as much as it was a reaction against the resonances (the categories, boundaries and representationscreatedby their use) these words carry.

      Traditionally it has been the ethnic or third world “other” that has played...

    • POOR CINEMA MANIFESTO (Cuba, 2004)
      (pp. 318-319)
      Humberto Solás

      Let’s clear up the misunderstandings: “Cinema of the Poor” does not mean cinema which lacks ideas or artistic quality, it means a cinema with a tight budget which is produced in outsider or less developed countries as well as in the bosom of the culturally and economic guiding societies, whether it be within official production programs or may it be independent or alternative cinema.

      The increasing movement towards globalization accentuates the divide between rich and poor cinema. Therefore there is a danger of establishing a single-minded model, sacrificing diversity and legitimacy of the rest of the national and cultural identities....

    • JOLLYWOOD MANIFESTO (Haiti, 2008)
      (pp. 320-320)
      Ciné Institute

      1. We create simple local stories set in everyday life.

      2. We tell our stories with images. We do not heavily rely on dialogue.

      3. We recognize and use local resources.

      4. We use non professional actors. We cast our friends, family, neighbors and associates.

      5. We use a small cast and crew.

      6. We use natural light.

      7. We credit every person who assists in making a film.

      8. We are honest and transparent. We are respectful with our cast, crew and community.

      9. We are rebranding Haiti and showing the world the richness of our country.

      10. We...

    • THE TORONTO DECLARATION: NO CELEBRATION OF OCCUPATION (Canada, 2009)
      (pp. 321-322)
      John Greyson, Naomi Klein, Udi Aloni, Elle Flanders, Richard Fung, Kathy Wazana, Cynthia Wright and b h Yael

      As members of the Canadian and international film, culture and media arts communities, we are deeply disturbed by the Toronto International Film Festival’s decision to host a celebratory spotlight on Tel Aviv. We protest that TIFF, whether intentionally or not, has become complicit in the Israeli propaganda machine.

      In 2008, the Israeli government and Canadian partners Sidney Greenberg of Astral Media, David Asper of Canwest Global Communications and Joel Reitman of MIJO Corporation launched “Brand Israel,” a million dollar media and advertising campaign aimed at changing Canadian perceptions of Israel. Brand Israel would take the focus off Israel’s treatment of...

  8. 4. GENDER, FEMINIST, QUEER, SEXUALITY, AND PORN MANIFESTOS
    • [4 Introduction]
      (pp. 325-327)

      Manifestos played a key role in the development of feminist, queer, and sex-positive film culture, especially in the 1970s. These developments were part of a larger movement of finding new, nonpatriarchal languages to write about gender inequalities in books such as Hélène Cixous’sThe Laugh of Medusa(1975). In the late 1960s, manifestos such as Valerie Solanas’s influentialSCUM Manifesto(1967), the Redstockings Manifesto (1969/70), and Valerie Export’s “Women, Art: A Manifesto” (1972) postulated radical new conceptions of the role of women in society, their marginalization under patriarchy, and means by which to break free of it. Andrea Dworkin’sPornography:...

    • WOMAN’S PLACE IN PHOTOPLAY PRODUCTION (USA, 1914)
      (pp. 328-330)
      Alice Guy-Blaché

      It has long been a source of wonder to me that many women have not yet seized upon the wonderful opportunities offered to them by the motion-picture art to make their way to fame and fortune as producers of photodramas. Of all the arts there is probably none of which they can make such splendid use of talents so much more natural to a woman than to a man and so necessary to its perfection.

      There is no doubt in my mind that a woman’s success in many lines of endeavour is still made very difficult by a strong prejudice...

    • HANDS OFF LOVE (France, 1927)
      (pp. 330-336)
      Maxime Alexandre, Louis Aragon, Jean Arp, Jacques Baron, Jacques-André Boiffard, André Breton, Jean Carrive, Robert Desnos, Marcel Duhamel, Paul Eluard, Max Ernst, Jean Genbach, Camille Goemans, Paul Hooreman, Eugène Jolas, Michel Leiris, Georges Limbour, Georges Malkine, André Masson, Max Morise, Pierre Naville, Marcel Noll, Paul Nougé, Elliot Paul, Benjamin Péret, Jacques Prévert, Raymond Queneau, Man Ray, Georges Sadoul, Yves Tanguy, Roland Tual and Pierre Unik

      All that can be invoked, that is of true value and force in the world, that is before all else to be defended, all that can place a man no matter what his standing in the discretion of judge let it for an instant be recalled the full meaning of the word judge, how at any moment by some accident your life may be at his mercy, whose decision can have the upper hand of anything, as for instance genius on all this is suddenly projected the startling light of a recent case. Both the nature of the defendant and...

    • THE PERFECT FILMIC APPOSITENESS OF MARIA MONTEZ (USA, 1962)
      (pp. 336-344)
      Jack Smith

      A few years later:

      Elle ne désert pas le nom d’actrice.

      —A Paris paper reviewing a film she made there

      At least in America Maria Montez could believe she was the Cobra woman, the Siren of Atlantis, Scheherazade, etc. She believed and thereby made the people who went to her movies believe. Those who could believe, did. Those who saw the World’s Worst Actress just couldn’t and they missed the magic. Too bad—their loss. Their magic comes from the most inevitable execution of the conventional pattern of acting. What they can appreciate is what most people agree upon...

    • ON FILM NO. 4 (IN TAKING THE BOTTOMS OF 365 SAINTS OF OUR TIME) (UK, 1967)
      (pp. 344-345)
      Yoko Ono

      I wonder how men can get serious at all. They have this delicate long thing hanging outside their bodies, which goes up and down by its own will. First of all having it outside your body is terribly dangerous. If I were a man I would have a fantastic castration complex to the point I wouldn’t be able to do a thing. Second, the inconsistency of it, like carrying a chance time alarm or something. If I were a man I would always be laughing at myself. Humour is probably something the male of the species discovered through their own...

    • STATEMENT (USA, 1969)
      (pp. 346-346)
      Kenneth Anger

      I have always considered the movies evil; the day that cinema was invented was a black day for mankind. Centuries before photography there were talismans, which actually anticipated photographs, since the dyes they used on the cheap vellum produced patterns when they faded in light. A talisman was a sticky fly-paper trying to trap a spirit—cunningly you printed it on a “photograph” of the demon you wanted to capture in it. Photography is a blatant attempt to steal the soul. The astral body is always just latent in a person, and certain cunning and gifted photographers can take an...

    • WET DREAM FILM FESTIVAL MANIFESTO (The Netherlands, 1970)
      (pp. 346-347)
      S.E.L.F.

      When we are unafraid and free from possessiveness it will make little difference what kind of social organization we choose to live under, because we will be open, kind and generous. It is sexual frustration, sexual envy, sexual fear, which permeates all our human relationships and which perverts them. The sexually liberated, the sexually tolerant and the sexually generous individuals are open, tolerant and generous in all their activities. Therefore S.E.L.F (Sexual Egalitarian and Libertarian Fraternity) wishes to encourage sexual freedom, sexual tolerance and sexual generosity....

    • WOMEN’S CINEMA AS COUNTER-CINEMA (UK, 1973)
      (pp. 347-356)
      Claire Johnston

      Panofsky’s detection of the primitive stereotyping which characterised the early cinema could prove useful for discerning the way myths of women have operated in the cinema: why the image of man underwent rapid differentiation, while the primitive stereotyping of women remained with some modifications. Much writing on the stereotyping of women in the cinema takes as its starting point a monolithic view of the media as repressive and manipulative: in this way, Hollywood has been viewed as a dream factory producing an oppressive cultural product. This over-politicised view bears little relation to the ideas on art expressed either by Marx...

    • MANIFESTO FOR A NON-SEXIST CINEMA (Canada, 1974)
      (pp. 356-358)
      FECIP (Fédération européenne du cinéma progressiste)

      We don’t want the recognition of the anti-sexist struggle to be a concession granted to the women’s movement, like a bone thrown for us to nibble on, hoping we will stop clamouring.

      We want every person to realize that she (or he) is deeply and intimately concerned with this question, whatever may be her (his) age, sex, profession or nationality.

      Sexism intermingles insidiously in our most everyday and commonplace activities and—whether man or woman, child, adult or elderly person—freezes us in stereotyped roles by stifling multiple possibilities in each of us. To get away from slogans, we propose...

    • WOMANIFESTO (USA, 1975)
      (pp. 359-359)
      Feminists in the Media

      As feminists working collectively in film and video we see our media as an ongoing process both in terms of the way it is made and the way it is distributed and shown. We are committed to feminist control of the entire process. We do not accept the existing power structure and we are committed to changing it, by the content and structure of our images and by the ways we relate to each other in our work and with our audience. Making and showing our work is an ongoing cyclical process, and we are responsible for changing and developing...

    • VISUAL PLEASURE AND NARRATIVE CINEMA (UK, 1975)
      (pp. 359-370)
      Laura Mulvey

      This paper intends to use psychoanalysis to discover where and how the fascination of film is reinforced by pre-existing patterns of fascination already at work within the individual subject and the social formations that have moulded him. It takes as starting point the way film reflects, reveals and even plays on the straight, socially established interpretation of sexual difference which controls images, erotic ways of looking and spectacle. It is helpful to understand what the cinema has been, how its magic has worked in the past, while attempting a theory and a practice which will challenge this cinema of the...

    • AN EGRET IN THE PORNO SWAMP: NOTES OF SEX IN THE CINEMA (Sweden, 1977)
      (pp. 370-375)
      Vilgot Sjöman

      1) Here in Sweden it went amazingly fast. Sexual liberalism had scarcely gained a bit of ground before the counteraction began. We promptly found ourselves back in a new puritanism.

      Had anything really had time to happen?

      Yes. We got sex shops. Suddenly sex clubs lay scattered all around town, with their exploited men and women, and movie theaters showed films containing “porno” scenes. In short, exposure had become possible. Aside from that, however, was anything different?

      2) I read a respected film reviewer in a respected daily newspaper. It doesn’t seem very different from the time when pornographic films...

    • FOR THE SELF-EXPRESSION OF THE ARAB WOMAN (France, 1978)
      (pp. 375-376)
      Heiny Srour, Salma Baccar and Magda Wassef

      There are numerous obstacles which limit the self-expression of the Arab woman, among them:

      A feudal culture now fused with a bourgeois culture which represents the woman as a sexual object and an inferior, immature being. This image is reproduced through all means of expression, including progressive ones. In this way the woman is conditioned from birth and prepared for a subordinate role. As a result, she loses confidence in herself and society fails to help her develop her intellectual capacities.

      The economic dependence of the woman, trapped at the bottom of the professional ladder, further interferes with her intellectual...

    • MANIFESTO OF THE WOMEN FILMMAKERS (West Germany, 1979)
      (pp. 376-377)
      Verband der Filmarbeiterinnen

      The Association of Women Filmmakers takes the liberty of expanding the Hamburg Declaration of the German Filmmakers to address the demands of women filmmakers. We demand:

      1. 50 per cent of all funds for films, production facilities and research projects;

      2. 50 per cent of all jobs and training places;

      3. 50 per cent of all committee seats;

      4. Support for distribution, sale and exhibition of films by women.

      Over eighty women film workers from the Federal Republic and West Berlin have signed.

      Who we are—the women filmmakers—and why we have organised ourselves has been specified in the...

    • WIMMIN’S FIRE BRIGADE COMMUNIQUÉ (Canada, 1982)
      (pp. 377-378)
      Wimmin’s Fire Brigade

      We, the Wimmin’s Fire Brigade, claim responsibility for the fire bombing of three Red Hot Video outlets in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia on November 22, 1982. This action is another step towards the destruction of a business that promotes and profits from violence against wimmin and children.

      Red Hot Video sells tapes that show wimmin and children being tortured, raped and humiliated. We are not the property of men to be used and abused.

      Red Hot Video is part of a multi-billion dollar pornography industry that teaches men to equate sexuality with violence. Although these tapes violate the...

    • THOUGHTS ON WOMEN’S CINEMA: EATING WORDS, VOICING STRUGGLES (USA, 1986)
      (pp. 378-382)
      Yvonne Rainer

      Polemics and manifestos having always served as spark plugs to my energies and imagination, I’ve been surprised when, following their publication, such statements were taken with what seemed to be excessive seriousness. Thus, in the mid-’60s, when I said “no” to this and “no” to that in dance and theater, I could not foresee that these words would dog my footsteps and beg me to eat them (or at least modify them) for the next twenty years. Such may be the case with my more recent stance toward/against/for narrative conventions in cinema. Raised, as I have been, with this century’s...

    • THE POST PORN MODERNIST MANIFESTO (USA, 1989)
      (pp. 382-382)
      Annie Sprinkle, Veronica Vera, Frank Moores, Candida Royale and Leigh Gates

      Let it be known to all who read these words or witness these events that a new awareness has come over the land. We of the Post Porn Modernist Movement face the challenge of the Rubber Age by acknowledging this moment in our personal sexual evolutions and in the sexual evolution of the planet.

      We embrace our genitals as part, not separate, from our spirits.

      We utilize sexually explicit words, pictures, performances to communicate our ideas and emotions.

      We denounce sexual censorship as anti-art and inhuman.

      We empower ourselves by this attitude of sex-positivism.

      And with this love of our...

    • STATEMENT OF AFRICAN WOMEN PROFESSIONALS OF CINEMA, TELEVISION AND VIDEO (Burkina Faso, 1991)
      (pp. 383-385)
      FEPACI (Fédération panafricaine des cinéastes)

      After fifty years of cinematographic production and twenty-five years of televisual production, how many women are involved? What positions do they occupy and what roles do they play?

      After fifty years of cinematographic production and twenty-five years after televisual realisation, what images of African women are shown to women of this continent, and how much have the latter contributed to challenge the established clichés . . . without women’s participation in supervisory positions?

      After a half-century of cinematographic production and a quarter-century of televisual productions, how many pioneers are there? And where are those female pioneers and film directors who...

    • PUZZY POWER MANIFESTO: THOUGHTS ON WOMEN AND PORNOGRAPHY (Denmark, 1998)
      (pp. 385-388)
      Vibeke Windeløv, Lene Børglum, Gerd Winther, Lili Hendriksen, Christina Loshe and Mette Nelund

      In the last few years a new generation of women have begun to make themselves felt. Women who have grown up with another attitude to their own bodies and sexuality than used to be the norm. Advertising agencies have been using the male body as a sex symbol along the same lines as the female body for ages, and male striptease acts playing to packed houses emphasise that there are women with the courage to say out loud that they enjoy looking at a beautiful man’s body. This tendency has not yet seriously made its mark in the arts or...

    • CINEMA WITH TITS (Spain, 1998)
      (pp. 388-390)
      Icíar Bollaín

      The difference between men and women is basically that men are men and we are women. Men have dicks and we don’t. We have tits and they don’t. We also have more of a waist and they have less of an ass (some, anyway). And even though it seems obvious, when we make films it turns out everything gets complicated and the media, that is, the ones that actually tell (some of) what happens, scratch their heads and ask us, ask themselves, do two tits see the same as the small ass when they look through the lens?

      Is a...

    • MY PORN MANIFESTO (France, 2002)
      (pp. 390-392)
      Ovidie

      Why did I become a porn star? Let’s get two clichés out of the way: it wasn’t for the money or for the sex. Whatever you may have heard, making pornographic films in Europe is not a license to print money.

      In many countries, the adult video market is dying. With cinemas refusing to screen pornography and producers ineligible for government grants, the main source of income is now television rights. Some “big-budget” films (i.e., those costing about 100, 000 euros) take several years to turn a profit.

      The economic collapse of the pornographic movie industry (though not of porn...

    • NO MORE MR. NICE GAY: A MANIFESTO (USA, 2009)
      (pp. 392-396)
      Todd Verow

      Sorry, I didn’t mean to kill New Queer Cinema. I was young, innocent (well—at the least, more innocent than I am today) when I made my first featureFrisk(Berlinale 1996). I hated the book and I suppose, in hindsight—that’s why I jumped at the chance to make the film version. I have a natural instinct to destroy in the name of creativity. Besides, we had a blast shooting a big “fuck you” to the growing political correctness of the 90’s, and to the mainstreaming of gay culture which started then. A riot broke out at our screening...

    • BAREFOOT FILMMAKING MANIFESTO (UK, 2009)
      (pp. 396-397)
      Sally Potter

      The best time to start is now (don’t wait)

      Take responsibility for everything (it saves time)

      Don’t blame anyone or anything (including yourself)

      Give up being a moviemaker victim (of circumstance, weather, lack of money, mean financiers, vicious critics, greedy distributors, indifferent public, etc.)

      You can’t always choose what happens while you are making a film, but you can choose your point of view about what happens (creative perspective)

      Mistakes are your best teacher (so welcome them)

      Turn disaster to advantage (there will be many)

      Only work on something you believe in (life is too short to practice insincerity)

      Choose...

    • DIRTY DIARIES MANIFESTO (Sweden, 2009)
      (pp. 397-400)
      Mia Engberg

      To hell with the sick beauty ideals! Deep self-hatred keeps a lot of women’s energy and creativity sapped. The energy that could be focused into exploring our own sexuality and power is being drained off into diets and cosmetics. Don’t let the commercial powers control your needs and desires.

      Male sexuality is seen as a force of nature that has to be satisfied at all costs while women’s sexuality is accepted only if it adapts to men’s needs. Be horny on your own terms.

      We are fed up with the cultural cliché that sexually active and independent women are either...

  9. 5. MILITATING HOLLYWOOD
    • [5 Introduction]
      (pp. 403-404)

      At first one might not assume that manifestos and Hollywood go hand in hand. This selection of manifestos proves otherwise. The chapter begins with a series of manifestos written by right-wing producers, directors, scriptwriters, and journalists about the threat to the American way of life posed by communism. Writers and signatories as diverse as Cecil B. DeMille, Ayn Rand, Walt Disney, and William Randolph Hearst wrote manifestos targeting the Red Scare and Hollywood’s role in it. These manifestos speak both to the profound isolationist strand of conservative thought in the United States that was eventually pushed aside, albeit temporarily, by...

    • CODE TO GOVERN THE MAKING OF TALKING, SYNCHRONIZED AND SILENT MOTION PICTURES (MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION CODE) (USA, 1930)
      (pp. 405-417)
      Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America

      Formulated and formally adopted by The Association of Motion Picture Producers, Inc. and The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc. in March 1930.

      Motion picture producers recognize the high trust and confidence which have been placed in them by the people of the world and which have made motion pictures a universal form of entertainment.

      They recognize their responsibility to the public because of this trust and because entertainment and art are important influences in the life of a nation.

      Hence, though regarding motion pictures primarily as entertainment without any explicit purpose of teaching or propaganda, they know...

    • RED FILMS: SOVIETS SPREADING DOCTRINE IN U.S. THEATRES (USA, 1935)
      (pp. 417-420)
      William Randolph Hearst

      The multi-armed octopus of Moscow has many of its colossal, death-dealing tentacles wound around America.

      It silently reaches for a strangle hold on our universities, our industries, our public schools, our labor organizations and our national and our State legislative bodies.

      The vowed purpose is the complete annihilation of the United States of America and its democratic institutions and the substitution of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the complete destruction of personal liberty, and, finally, as a matter of course, THE TRANSFERENCE OF THE NATIONAL LAW-MAKING BODY FROM WASHINGTON TO MOSCOW.

      The latest propagandist move in this attempt of Russia...

    • STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES (USA, 1944)
      (pp. 420-421)
      Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals

      We believe in, and like, the American way of life: the liberty and freedom which generations before us have fought to create and preserve; the freedom to speak, to think, to live, to worship, to work, and to govern ourselves as individuals, as free men; the right to succeed or fail as free men, according to the measure of our ability and our strength.

      Believing in these things, we find ourselves in sharp revolt against a rising tide of communism, fascism, and kindred beliefs, that seek by subversive means to undermine and change this way of life; groups that have...

    • SCREEN GUIDE FOR AMERICANS (USA, 1947)
      (pp. 422-432)
      Ayn Rand

      The influence of Communists in Hollywood is due, not to their own power, but to the unthinking carelessness of those who profess to oppose them. Red propaganda has been put over in some films produced by innocent men, often by loyal Americans who deplore the spread of Communism throughout the world and wonder why it is spreading.

      If you wish to protect your pictures from being used for Communistic purposes, the first thing to do is to drop the delusion that political propaganda consists only of political slogans.

      Politics is not a separate field in itself. Political ideas do not...

    • WHITE ELEPHANT ART VS. TERMITE ART (USA, 1962)
      (pp. 432-439)
      Manny Farber

      Most of the feckless, listless quality of today’s art can be blamed on its drive to break out of a tradition, while, irrationally, hewing to the square, boxed-in shape and gemlike inertia of an old, densely wrought European masterpiece.

      Advanced painting has long been suffering from this burnt-out notion of a masterpiece—breaking away from its imprisoning conditions toward a suicidal improvisation, threatening to move nowhere and everywhere, niggling, omnivorous, ambitionless; yet, within the same picture, paying strict obeisance to the canvas edge and, without favoritism, the precious nature of every inch of allowable space. A classic example of this...

    • SUPER FLY: A SUMMARY OF OBJECTIONS BY THE KUUMBA WORKSHOP (USA, 1972)
      (pp. 440-440)
      Kuumba Workshop

      “Super Fly” . . . A Subtle, Deadly Ripoff

      1. The film advocated using dope—the biggest, most destructive killer of Black people in the country.

      2. It never deals with the deadly consequences of dope dealing which is sweeping Black communities like a ravaging plague.

      3. It glorifies the hustler as hero—another in a long succession of such films which glorify and distort the image and influence of Black hustlers, pimps and studs.

      4. “Super Fly” has no positive messages or images for Black people.

      5. It has questionable financial backing.

      6. It creates the illusion of “victory?”...

    • FULL FRONTAL MANIFESTO (USA, 2001)
      (pp. 441-442)
      Steven Soderbergh

      Important

      If you are an actor considering a role in this film, please note the following:

      1. All sets are practical locations.

      2. You will drive yourself to the set. If you are unable to drive yourself to the set, a driver will pick you up, but you will probably become the subject of ridicule. Either way, you arrive alone.

      3. There will be no craft service, so you should arrive on the set “having had.” Meals will vary in quality.

      4. You will pick, provide and maintain your own wardrobe.

      5. Your will create and maintain your own hair...

  10. 6. THE CREATIVE TREATMENT OF ACTUALITY
    • [6 Introduction]
      (pp. 445-447)

      Since its inception, cinema has often been described as a dichotomy between theactualitésof the Lumière brothers and the fantasies of Georges Méliès. But despite Hitchcock’sbon motthat “in feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director,” this dichotomy has always been a false one.¹ As early as 1896 , films such asDémolition d’un murbrought fantasy into the realm of the Lumières’actualités, while the films of Méliès quickly embraced the emergent protodocumentary ethos to give his fantasies a sense of reality in works such asLe voyage dans la lune...

    • TOWARDS A SOCIAL CINEMA (France, 1930)
      (pp. 448-452)
      Jean Vigo

      You’re right if you don’t think that we’re going to discover America together. I say this to indicate right away the precise import of the words on the scrap of paper you have been given as a promise of more to come.

      I’m not concerned today with revealing what social cinema is, no more than I am in strangling it with a formula. Rather, I’m trying to arouse more often your latent need to see good films—filmmakers, please excuse me for the pleonasm—dealing with society and its relationships with individuals and things.

      Because, you see, the cinema suffers...

    • FROM “FIRST PRINCIPLES OF DOCUMENTARY” (UK, 1932)
      (pp. 453-459)
      John Grierson

      Documentary is a clumsy description, but let it stand. The French, who first used the term only meant travelogue. It gave them a solid high-sounding excuse for the shimmying (and otherwise discursive) exoticisms of the Vieux Colombier.⁷ Meanwhile documentary has gone on its way. From shimmying exoticisms it has gone on to include dramatic films likeMoana, Earth,andTurksib.⁸ And in time it will include other kinds as different in form and intention fromMoana,asMoanawas fromVoyage au Congo.

      So far we have regarded all films made from natural material as coming within the category. The...

    • MANIFESTO ON THE DOCUMENTARY FILM (UK, 1933)
      (pp. 460-461)
      Oswell Blakeston

      Years ago the documentary film had value because it presented us with facts: from the documents of four or five years ago it was possible to learn.

      We believed, then, that the document film had a rigorous and vigorous future: the clearer presentation of valuable information seemed to define the development of the filmic documentary.

      Alas! A camorra of folk on the fringe of moviedom discovered, when talkies came in, that they could no longer afford to finance their own movies: but how desperately they wanted to go on telling their friends that they were in the movies, how pathetically...

    • DECLARATION OF THE GROUP OF THIRTY (France, 1953)
      (pp. 461-462)

      The short film was struggling to stay alive. Today, its death has been decided.

      The French School of short films is distinguished by its style, by its demeanor, by the ambition of its subjects. French short films have often found favor with the public. They play the world over. There is not an international festival where they do not play a large role, almost always taking first place.

      A recent decree-law allows for the return of the double bill which signifies the disappearance of the short film and makes more difficult the funding of great French films. If this decree...

    • INITIAL STATEMENT OF THE NEWSREEL (USA, 1967)
      (pp. 462-463)
      New York Newsreel

      These films will be available to anyone. We hope that their relevance will attract audiences who are not usually reached. But they will reach such audiences only if they are brought to them by people who understand what it is to organize, and how to use such films to increase and activate social and political awareness.

      We want to emphasize that we are initially directing our work toward those in the society who have already begun their redefinition.

      At the start we will use existing networks like SDS, the Underground Press Service, anti-war groups, the Resistance, community projects . ....

    • NOWSREEL, OR THE POTENTIALITIES OF A POLITICAL CINEMA (USA, 1970)
      (pp. 463-464)
      Robert Kramer and New York Newsreel

      To all film-makers who accept the limited, socially determined rules of clarity, of exposition, who think that films must use the accepted vocabulary to “convince,” we say essentially: you only work, whatever your reasons, whatever the mechanisms which maintain stability through re-integration; your films are helping to hold it all together, and finally, whatever your descriptions, you have already chosen sides. Dig: your sense of order and form is already a political choice—don’t talk to me about “content”—but if you do, I will tell you that you cannot encompass our “content” with those legislated and approved senses, that...

    • DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKERS MAKE THEIR CASE (Poland, 1971)
      (pp. 464-469)
      Bohdan Kosiński, Krzysztof Kieślowski and Tomasz Zygadło

      The discussion on documentary film that started at the Eleventh Festival of Short Films in Krakow, and which then moved to the daily and weekly press, was based on the effective (and for many probably convenient) strategy of opposing the young and old filmmakers of the WFD.¹³ The Festival’s commentators became concerned with the slogans proclaimed in the undergrounds of Krzysztofory Palace¹⁴ and began checking the birth certificates of the films’ authors, dividing them in accordance to age. Then (after applying demographics so creatively to issues of film), they all took the side of the young.

      There was however one...

    • THE ASIAN FILMMAKERS AT YAMAGATA YIDFF MANIFESTO (Japan, 1989)
      (pp. 469-470)

      We, the Asian filmmakers present here, at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival ’89, call attention to the sad absence of any Asian film in the competition. While this is not the fault of this festival, it puts into focus the fact that major obstacles exist in the making of relevant and interesting documentary films in the Asian region.

      Our gathering here notes that the essential ingredients for quality filmmaking in our respective countries are available:

      there is no shortage of energy or passion for documentary films;

      there are enough, even if minimal, technical skills to produce quality social and...

    • MINNESOTA DECLARATION: TRUTH AND FACT IN DOCUMENTARY CINEMA (Germany, 1999)
      (pp. 471-472)
      Werner Herzog

      1. By dint of declaration the so-called Cinema Verité is devoid of Verité. It reaches a merely superficial truth, the truth of accountants.

      2. One well-known representative of Cinema Verité declared publicly that truth can be easily found by taking a camera and trying to be honest. He resembles the night watchman at the Supreme Court who resents the amount of written law and legal procedures. “For me,” he says, “there should be only one single law: the bad guys should go to jail.” Unfortunately, he is part right, for most of the many, much of the time.

      3. Cinema...

    • DEFOCUS MANIFESTO (Denmark, 2000)
      (pp. 472-473)
      Lars von Trier

      We are searching for something fictional, not factual. Fiction is limited by our imagination and facts by our insight, and the part of the world that we are seeking cannot be encompassed by a “story” or embraced from an “angle.”

      The subject matter we seek is found in the same reality that inspires fiction-makers; the reality that journalists believe they are describing. But they cannot find this unusual subject matter because their techniques blind them. Nor do they want to find it, because the techniques have become the goal itself.

      If one discovers or seeks a story, to say nothing...

    • KILL THE DOCUMENTARY AS WE KNOW IT (USA, 2002)
      (pp. 473-476)
      Jill Godmilow

      Somewhat ironically, but in all seriousness as well, I hurl out adogmafor future non-fiction filmmaking—one that questions the usefulness of the classical realist documentary form as an instrument for publicly shared knowledge.

      I interrogate this system of representation that is said to produce sober, unauthored texts—cinematic texts in which the world supposedlytells itself,and claims to do so without any ideological intervention from its authors. Not at all ready to abandon making films with these images but fearful of the ideology they hide, mydogmaslashes away at the very underpinnings of the myth of...

    • ETHNOGRAPHIC CINEMA (EC): A MANIFESTO / A PROVOCATION (USA, 2003)
      (pp. 476-477)
      Jay Ruby

      So-called ethnographic films are, in fact, films about culture and not films that pictorially convey ethnographic knowledge. They are produced by professional filmmakers who have little or no knowledge of anthropology and by anthropologists who thoughtlessly follow the dictates of documentary realism.

      For a cinema to exist that furthers the purposes of anthropology, the following must occur:

      1. EC must be the work of academically educated and academically employed socio-cultural anthropologists. EC can only be a consequence of ethnographic research by trained ethnographers who professionally engage in academic discourse on a regular basis. EC must be an extension of their...

    • REALITY CINEMA MANIFESTO (Russia, 2005)
      (pp. 478-479)
      Vitaly Manskiy

      1. NO SCRIPT. Script and reality are incompatible. Before shooting there shall be determined only the place where the film-making process shall start, sometimes together with characters of the film and the general idea. As of the start of shooting, only real events shall determine the course of dramatic concept. *meanwhile, reality cinema doesn’t aspire to state the facts without fear or favor. Reality cinema is not a copy of reality.

      2. NO MORAL LIMITS FOR THE AUTHOR WHEN MAKING A FILM. EXCEPT FOR THOSE OF LEGAL NATURE. In order to submerge into the space of the object being shot,...

    • DOCUMENTARY MANIFESTO (USA, 2008)
      (pp. 479-480)
      Albert Maysles

      As a documentarian I happily place my fate and faith in reality. It is my caretaker, the provider of subjects, themes, experiences—all endowed with the power of truth and the romance of discovery. And the closer I adhere to reality the more honest and authentic my tales. After all, knowledge of the real world is exactly what we need to better understand and therefore possibly to love one another. It’s my way of making the world a better place.

      1. Distance oneself from a point of view.

      2. Love your subjects.

      3. Film events, scenes, sequences; avoid interviews, narration,...

    • CHINA INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL MANIFESTO: SHAMANS * ANIMALS (People’s Republic of China, 2011)
      (pp. 480-484)

      1/ Demand that film critics buy their own DVDs—Xue Jianqiang

      2/ Reject how film critics have become the definers and arbiters of the morals and ethics of documentary film. Rather than simply passing judgement on documentary ethics, film critics should foster a film critique based on artistic intuition that, rooted in intrinsic film language itself, inquires into ethics.

      Reject a film critical perspective that is remote from common people, one that abuses a concept like “the lower strata of society.” Do you like this concept because you feel that you are in a position of superiority?

      Can an intellectual-style...

  11. 7. STATES, DICTATORSHIPS, THE COMINTERN, AND THEOCRACIES
    • [7 Introduction]
      (pp. 487-489)

      This chapter considers a series of manifestos that, unlike the others in the book, are State, or quasi-State, sanctioned. In these instances, the manifestos written by members of governments and religious institutions function as means by which to mobilize the cinema for the goals of the State, be they national, political, or theocratic ones. A key precursor is “The Lenin Decree” (see chapter 1), which outlines the role of the cinema in the then-nascent USSR based on the notion that film could bring together the disparate population of the USSR through propaganda. In a similar fashion, Joseph Goebbels, the minister...

    • CAPTURE THE FILM! HINTS ON THE USE OF, OUT OF THE USE OF, PROLETARIAN FILM PROPAGANDA (USA, 1925)
      (pp. 490-492)
      Willi Münzenberg

      Ferdinand Lasalle characterized the press as the new major power. The same can be said of the film, which, in some countries, has already achieved a greater significance than the press itself. The total attendance in the movie theaters of England, France and the United States is perhaps even today greater than the total number of newspaper readers in those countries.

      Even if the press were granted the greater numerical dissemination, let it not be forgotten that the film, thru the medium of the visual picture, influences its patrons far more strongly and emphatically than does the printed word its...

    • THE LEGION OF DECENCY PLEDGE (USA, 1934)
      (pp. 492-492)
      John McNicholas

      In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. I condemn all indecent and immoral motion pictures, and those which glorify crime or criminals. I promise to do all that I can to strengthen public opinion against the production of indecent and immoral films, and to unite with all who protest against them. I acknowledge my obligation to form a right conscience about pictures that are dangerous to my moral life. I pledge myself to remain away from them. I promise, further, to stay away altogether from places of amusement which show them...

    • CREATIVE FILM (Germany, 1935)
      (pp. 493-495)
      Joseph Goebbels

      It is the most noble task of art to bridge the gap between politics and economics. Art supplies the people with a solid ground on which they can disregard the conflicts of their interests and work constructively together, hand in hand. Art is the most noble cultural expression of a nation. Each nation creates its own specific art and style. Even the greatest artistic genius is in the last analysis a child of his nation and draws his boldest strivings for immortality from the roots of his native soil. International importance belongs to the kind of art which is deeply...

    • VIGILANTI CURA: ON MOTION PICTURES (Vatican City, 1936)
      (pp. 495-505)
      Pope Pius XI

      In following with vigilant eye, as Our Pastoral Office requires, the beneficent work of Our Brethren in the Episcopate and of the faithful, it has been highly pleasing to Us to learn of the fruits already gathered and of the progress which continues to be made by that prudent initiative launched more than two years ago as a holy crusade against the abuses of the motion pictures and entrusted in a special manner to the “Legion of Decency.

      This excellent experiment now offers Us a most welcome opportunity of manifesting more fully Our thought in regard to a matter which...

    • FOUR CARDINAL POINTS OF A REVOLUÇÃO DE MAIO (Portugal, 1937)
      (pp. 505-506)
      António Lopes Ribeiro

      I made this film in order to:

      1. Serve the Portuguese cinema.

      Inspite of the efforts of about 10 people of good will, our cinema should still be considered infantile and I use the term in a non-pejorative sense. On the contrary, it is precisely in childhood that we may find a great spontaneity, freshness which is to be the measure of the future that lies before us. Only six sound films have been completed in Portugal and two more are almost finished. Ours is a very complex industry that keeps pace with a subtle art: a national cinema cannot...

    • FROM ON THE ART OF CINEMA (North Korea, 1973)
      (pp. 506-514)
      Kim Jong-il

      If cinematic art is to be developed to meet the requirements of the Juche age, it is necessary to bring about a fundamental change in film-making. From the time of the emergence of cinema art to this day, many changes and advances have been made in artistic and technical matters, as a result of the changes in the times and social institutions, but the vestiges of the old system and methods have not yet been overcome in creative work. There still remain remnants of capitalist and dogmatic ideas to a considerable extent, particularly in the system and methods of direction,...

  12. 8. ARCHIVES, MUSEUMS, FESTIVALS, AND CINEMATHEQUES
    • [8 Introduction]
      (pp. 517-519)

      Publicly and privately funded institutions, film archives, museums, film festivals, and cinematheques hold quite a different status, in regard to the manifestos written on their behalf, than do those of solitary artists or groups of artists. Yet because of the cinema’s fairly recent emergence, its status as both art and popular entertainment, and the rise of neoliberalism in the last third of the twentieth century, these institutions have often been attacked by state funding agencies, governments, and artists who feel they are not fulfilling their mandate. In the series of manifestos that follow, we see that the role of these...

    • A NEW SOURCE OF HISTORY: THE CREATION OF A DEPOSITORY FOR HISTORICAL CINEMATOGRAPHY (Poland/France, 1898)
      (pp. 520-523)
      Bolesław Matuszewski

      It would be a mistake to believe that all the categories ofrepresentational documentswhich come to the aid of History have a place in Museums and Libraries. Unlike medallions, illuminated pottery, sculpture, etc., which are collected and classified, photography, for example, has no special department. To speak the truth, the documents it provides are rarely of a clearly historical nature, and above all, there are too many of them! Still, one day or another, someone will classify all the portraits of men who have had a marked influence on the life of their times. However, by then that will...

    • THE FILM PRAYER (USA, c. 1920)
      (pp. 523-524)
      A. P. Hollis

      I am film, not steel; O user, have mercy. I front dangers whenever I travel the whirling wheels of mechanism. Over the sprocket wheels, held tight by the idlers, I am forced by the motor’s magic might. If a careless hand misthreads me, I have no alternative but to go to my death. If the pull on the takeup reel is too violent, I am torn to shreds. If dirt collects in the aperture, my film of beauty is streaked and marred, and I must face my beholders—a thing ashamed and bespoiled. Please, if I break, NEVER fasten me...

    • THE FILM SOCIETY (UK, 1925)
      (pp. 524-525)
      Iris Barry

      The Film Society has been founded in the belief that there are in this country a large number of people who regard the cinema with the liveliest interest, and who would welcome an opportunity seldom afforded the general public of witnessing films of intrinsic merit, whether new or old.

      It is felt to be of the utmost importance that films of the type proposed should be available to the Press, and to the film trade itself, including present and (what is more important) future British film producers, editors, cameramen, titling experts and actors. For, although such intelligent films asNju...

    • FILMLIGA MANIFESTO (The Netherlands, 1927)
      (pp. 525-526)
      Joris Ivens, Henrik Scholte, Men’no Ter Bbaak, Hans Ivens, Charlie Toorop, L. J. Jordan, Cees Laseur, Hans Van Meerten and Ed Pelster

      Die Nibelungen, The Big Parade, Potemkin, Mother, Meniemontant, Variete.

      FILM IS AT STAKE

      Once in a hundred times we see film, the rest of the time we see movies.

      The herd, commercial cliches, America,Kitsch.

      In this arena films and movies are natural opponents. We believe in the pure autonomous film. The future of film as art is doomed if we do not take the matter into our own hands.

      This is what we intend to do.

      We want to see the experimental work produced in the French, German and Russian avant garde ateliers. We want to work towards film...

    • STATEMENT OF PURPOSES (USA, 1948)
      (pp. 527-528)
      Amos Vogel

      CINEMA 16 is a cultural, non-profit organization devoted to the presentation of outstanding 16mm documentary, educational, scientific and experimental films.

      CINEMA 16 endeavours to serve a double purpose. By its screening of superior and avant-garde films, it will contribute to the growing appreciation of film as one of the most powerful art forms. By its screening of documentary as well as scientific and educational pictures, it will provide its audience with a more mature realization of the nature of this world and of its manifold problems.

      The complexities of industrial society, the contraction of the world into an interdependent whole,...

    • THE IMPORTANCE OF FILM ARCHIVES (UK, 1948)
      (pp. 529-532)
      Ernest Lindgren

      The film is a new kind of historical record; the film is a new art form. True; but unless the records are kept, history will gain nothing; and unless technicians and the film-going public have the opportunity to study the finest film works of the past, and the cinema is able to acquire something in the nature of a tradition, it will be seriously limited in its development as an art. These are the justifications for a film archive.

      A film archive, properly speaking, can never be anything but a national concern; commercial films seldom come into private hands, and...

    • A PLEA FOR A CANADIAN FILM ARCHIVE (Canada, 1949)
      (pp. 533-534)
      Hye Bossin

      Canada, even though it has the largest and most successful documentary organisation in the world as a government agency, has yet no film archives.⁶ Yet there are many Canadian films dating back to the early 1900s. Some were made by government departments, others were shot for the CPR by Guy Bradford, a cameraman imported from England.⁷ They show pictures of life in another day. Then there are film records of sporting events involving Canadian champions; feature films made before and after World War I in various parts of the Dominion. There are the early newsreels made by Ernest Ouimet of...

    • OPEN LETTER TO FILM-MAKERS OF THE WORLD (USA, 1966)
      (pp. 534-539)
      Jonas Mekas

      I would like to speak to you through this open letter. Although some specific feelings expressed may be personal, I’ll be speaking in the name of the independent film-makers of America who have delegated me to do so. You don’t often see us at film festivals. Very often, the “independent” American films that you see at Pesaro, at Oberhausen, or Mannheim have very little to do with what we are doing. There is a special festival-minded breed of film-makers, and you find them in every country, who will get their films into any festival, no matter how bad or indifferent...

    • A DECLARATION FROM THE COMMITTEE FOR THE DEFENSE OF LA CINÉMATHÈQUE FRANÇAISE (France, 1968)
      (pp. 539-540)
      Committee for the Defense of La Cinémathèque française

      The Committee for the Defense of la Cinémathèque française proposes: 1) the reestablishment of the normal functioning of la Cinémathèque française, 2) to take all actions to respect the integrity of la Cinémathèque française and its liberty. The Committee will continue its activity beyond the reinstatement of Henri Langlois as Artistic and Technical Director, a reinstatement required by all the film profession and the spectators of la Cinémathèque française....

    • FILMMAKERS VERSUS THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (USA, 1969)
      (pp. 540-543)
      Hollis Frampton, Ken Jacobs and Michael Snow

      To the Public Hearings Committee Art Workers’ Coalition

      Gentlemen:

      As filmmakers, we wish to bring to your attention the following points concerning the Museum of Modern Art as a whole, and its Film Department in particular:

      1) The Museum’s repeated assertion of its own “private” nature, in reply to a variety of requests from the art community on behalf of the whole community, is socially retrograde, reminiscent of 19th Centurylaissez-fairearguments. That private institutions used and supported by the public have public responsibilities is knowledge at least as old as the Sherman Act.

      2) In view of its tax-exempt...

    • ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES MANIFESTO (USA, 1970)
      (pp. 543-544)
      P. Adams Sitney

      When it opened on December 1, 1970, Anthology Film Archives issued the following manifesto, which summarized its polemical position:

      The cinematheques of the world generally collect and show the multiple manifestations of film: as document, history, industry, mass communication. . . . Anthology Film Archives is the first film museum exclusively devoted to the film as an art. What are the essentials of the film experience? Which films embody the heights of the art of cinema? The creation of Anthology Film Archives has been an ambitious attempt to provide answers to these questions; the first of which is physical—to...

    • TOWARD AN ETHNOGRAPHIC FILM ARCHIVE (USA, 1971)
      (pp. 544-554)
      Alan Lomax

      One of the great opportunities and urgent tasks of this generation is for the anthropologist to use the sound film to make a complete record of the life ways of the human species.

      The human race has come to a big turning in the road—to the successful climax of man’s long effort to control his physical environment. Many, many ingenious systems of organization and communication have been evolved in this long struggle to maintain the continuity of the species and to satisfy increasingly complex needs. Now most of these cultural types will fast disappear. If action is not taken...

    • BROOKLYN BABYLON CINEMA MANIFESTO (USA, 1998)
      (pp. 555-556)
      Scott Miller Berry and Stephen Kent Jusick

      In these days of Mayoral fiat and rampant real estate speculation (the result of runaway capitalism), the people of New York City find themselves under attack in our own home, and alienated from our happily hurried way of life. This screening sets out to demonstrate how the excesses of the 80’s homophobia, overspending, genocide by inaction are not so far removed from today. Tonight’s selection of films shows that AIDS phobia is STILL being used to desexualize gay culture. The juxtaposition of explicit lesbian sex films (from 1973 and 1993) shows how incendiary this imagery remains. AIDS lingers on and...

    • DON’T THROW FILM AWAY: THE FIAF 70th ANNIVERSARY MANIFESTO (France, 2008)
      (pp. 556-558)
      Hisashi Okajima and La fédération internationale des archives du film Manifesto Working Group

      Motion picture film forms an indispensable part of our cultural heritage and a unique record of our history and our daily lives. Film archives, both public and private, are the organizations responsible for acquiring, safeguarding, documenting and making films available to current and future generations for study and pleasure. The International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) and its affiliates comprising more than 150 archives in over 77 countries have rescued over two million films in the last seventy years. However for some genres, geographical regions and periods of film history the survival rate is known to be considerably less than...

    • THE LINDGREN MANIFESTO: THE FILM CURATOR OF THE FUTURE (Italy, 2010)
      (pp. 558-559)
      Paolo Cherchi Usai

      1. Restoration is not possible and it is not desirable, regardless of its object or purpose. Obedience to this principle is the most responsible approach to film preservation.

      2. Preserve everything is a curse to posterity. Posterity won’t be grateful for sheer accumulation. Posterity wants us to make choices. It is therefore immoral to preserve everything; selecting is a virtue.

      3. If film had been treated properly from the very beginning, there would be less of a need for film preservation today and citizens would have had access to a history of cinema of their choice.

      4. The end of...

    • FILM FESTIVAL FORM: A MANIFESTO (UK, 2012)
      (pp. 559-562)
      Mark Cousins

      The Oberhausen Manifesto helped launch the New German Cinema; the Danish Dogme 95 manifesto brought new ideas to, and detoxed, 90s cinema. The film festival world could do with a manifesto too . . .In Italy in the 1930s, Mussolini launched the world’s first film festival, Venice, to celebrate fascist ideas and aesthetics. To counter this, two alternative festivals were launched, one in a former fishing town, Cannes, and one in the “Athens of the North,” a centre of the Enlightenment, Edinburgh. Now there are thousands of film festivals. They are a cultural idea that is spreading like a...

  13. 9. SOUNDS AND SILENCE
    • [9 Introduction]
      (pp. 565-565)

      The four manifestos that compose this chapter all revolve around the question of sound in the cinema. Perhaps it is not surprising that three of the four were written on the cusp of sound cinema. Many filmmakers, critics, and theorists were convinced that the advent of sound would strip away from the cinema its specificity and its universalism. Indeed, even for filmmakers who mastered sound, there was a lingering feeling that the silent image constituted the true cinema. Alfred Hitchcock, who made ten silent films in the United Kingdom between 1925 and 1929, often argued that a good sound film...

    • A STATEMENT ON SOUND (USSR, 1928)
      (pp. 566-568)
      Sergei Eisenstein, Vsevolod Pudovkin and Grigori Alexandrov

      The dream of a sound film has come true. With the invention of a practical sound film, the Americans have placed it on the first step of substantial and rapid realization. Germany is working intensively in the same direction. The whole world is talking about the silent thing that has learned to talk.

      We who work in the U.S.S.R. are aware that with our technical potential we shall not move ahead to a practical realization of the sound film in the near future. At the same time we consider it opportune to state a number of principal premises of a...

    • A REJECTION OF THE TALKIES (USA, 1931)
      (pp. 568-569)
      Charlie Chaplin

      Because the silent or nondialogue picture has been temporarily pushed aside in the hysteria attending the introduction of speech by no means indicates that it is extinct or that the motion picture screen has seen the last of it.City Lightsis evidence of this. In New York it is presented at the George M. Cohan Theater beginning Feb. 6. It is nondialogue but synchronized film.

      Why did I continue to make nondialogue films? The silent picture, first of all, is a universal means of expression. Talking pictures necessarily have a limited field, they are held down to the particular...

    • A DIALOGUE ON SOUND: A MANIFESTO (UK, 1934)
      (pp. 570-572)
      Basil Wright and B. Vivian Braun

      Wright: First we must realise that films have always been sound films, even in the silent days. The bigger the orchestra the better the film appeared.

      Vivian Braun: Quite. And now that talk has been made possible. Do you consider it as good an adjunct as music?

      W.: No, because a good “talkie” is a stage play possibly improved by the mechanical advantages of the camera. e.g.. pans, close-ups, [and] cutting.

      V.B.: You mean that “talkies” are not films?

      W.: “Talkies” are technically film, but cinematically they are not.

      V.B.: Then the only thing to do is to separate “talkies”...

    • AMALFI MANIFESTO (Italy, 1967)
      (pp. 572-572)
      Michelangelo Antonioni, Bernardo Bertolucci, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Gillo Pontecorvo, Marco Bellocchio, Vittorio Cottafavi, Vittorio De Sica, Alberto Lattuada, Alfredo Leonardi, Valentino Orsini, Brunello Rondi, Francesco Rosi, Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani

      Contemporary developments in theoretical studies on the sound film imply the need to take up a position at the outset against the systematic abuse of dubbing, which consistently compromises the expressive values of film. The actors themselves acquire from the habit of post-synchronisation (generally carried out with other people’s voices) an increasing detachment from the character they are playing. The techniques of dubbing and the use of stock sound-effects deprive films of the support, on the unitary plane of style, of elements which should be integral to them, and at the same time they subject the film to the manoeuvres...

  14. 10. THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION
    • [10 Introduction]
      (pp. 575-575)

      The manifestos in this chapter address, in various ways, the rise of digital technology and its impact on the cinema. Many, responding to the challenges set out by the Dogme ’95 manifesto (which offers a seemingly utopian potential for cinema when conveyed through digital video and handheld camera immediacy, with ensuing challenges to feature-film conventions in narrative, characterization, sound, and cinematography), raise issues surrounding the DIY approach to filmmaking and are particularly concerned with the ways in which young, aspiring filmmakers can make films inexpensively, while at the same time addressing the specificity of the digital image. The digital image’s...

    • CULTURE: INTERCOM AND EXPANDED CINEMA: A PROPOSAL AND MANIFESTO (USA, 1966)
      (pp. 576-579)
      Stan VanDerBeek

      I should like to share with you a vision I have had concerning motion pictures. This vision concerns the immediate use of motion pictures . . . or expanded cinema, as a tool for world communication . . . and opens the future of what I like to call “Ethos-Cinema.” Motion pictures may be the most important means for world communication. At this moment motion pictures are the art form of our time.

      We are on the verge of a new world/new technology/a new art.

      When artists shall deal with the world as a work of art.

      When we shall...

    • THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION AND THE FUTURE CINEMA (Iran, 2000)
      (pp. 580-585)
      Samira Makhmalbaf

      Cinema has always been at the mercy of political power, particularly in the East, financial capital, particularly in the West, and the concentration of means of production, anywhere in the world. The individual creativity of artists throughout the twentieth century has much suffered from the whimsical practices of this odd combination of forces. The situation at the threshold of the twenty-first century seems to have altered radically. With astonishing technological innovations now coming to fruition, artists no longer seem to be totally vulnerable to these impediments.

      In the near future, the camera could very well turn into the simulacrum of...

    • THE PLUGINMANIFESTO (UK, 2001)
      (pp. 586-588)
      Ana Kronschnabl

      First came the Dogme 95 manifesto, where a collective of directors founded in Copenhagen in spring 1995 expressed the goal of countering “certain tendencies” towards “cosmetics” over content in the cinema today. They remarked, “Today a technological storm is raging, the result of which will be the ultimate democratisation of the cinema.” We agree, and now the online film website plugincinema.com is launching the pluginmanifesto, where filmmakers are asked to take advantage of the digital technology revolution.

      The pluginmanifesto version 1.1

      Films are familiar to us all, Hollywood films at least. So much so that its is difficult for us...

    • DIGITAL DEKALOGO: A MANIFESTO FOR A FILMLESS PHILIPPINES (The Philippines, 2003)
      (pp. 588-590)
      Khavn de la Cruz

      Film is dead. It is dead as long as the economy is dead, when public taste and creativity are dead, when the imagination of multinational movie companies is dead. At millions of pesos per film production, there is not going to be a lot of happy days for the genuine filmmaker, the true artist who wants to make movies, not brainless displays of breasts and gunfire.

      But technology has freed us. Digital film, with its qualities of mobility, flexibility, intimacy and accessibility, is the apt medium for a Third World Country like the Philippines. Ironically, the digital revolution has reduced...

  15. 11. AESTHETICS AND THE FUTURES OF THE CINEMA
    • [11 Introduction]
      (pp. 593-594)

      Although prophecies about the future of the cinema and its imminent death emerged almost as soon as the cinema itself, in recent years, with the arrival of digital technology and the celebration/wake of the centenary of the medium in 1995, they have taken on a new urgency. This urgency is tied to changes in the ways that films are produced, distributed, and consumed. Responding to these changes, Susan Sontag famously, during the cinema’s centenary, penned its obituary, or at the very least, the obituary ofcinephilia.In “A Century of Cinema” Sontag wrote: “Cinema’s hundred years appear to have the...

    • THE BIRTH OF THE SIXTH ART (France, 1911)
      (pp. 595-603)
      Ricciotto Canudo

      It is surprising to find how everyone has, either by fare or some universal telepathy, the same aesthetic conception of the natural environment. From the most ancient people of the east to those more recently discovered by our geographical heroes, we can find in all peoples the same manifestations of the aesthetic sense; Music, with its complimentary art, Poetry; and Agriculture, with its own two compliments, Sculpture and Painting. The whole aesthetic life of the world developed itself in these five expressions of Art. Assuredly, a sixth artistic manifestation seems to us now absurd and even unthinkable; for thousands of...

    • THE BIRTH OF A NEW AVANT GARDE: LA CAMÉRA-STYLO (France, 1948)
      (pp. 603-607)
      Alexandre Astruc

      One cannot help noticing that something is happening in the cinema at the moment. Our sensibilities have been in danger of getting blunted by those everyday films which, year in year out, show their tired and conventional faces to the world.

      The cinema of today is getting a new face. How can one tell? Simply by using one’s eyes. Only a film critic could fail to notice striking facial transformation which is taking place before our eyes. In which films can this new beauty be found? Precisely those which have been ignored by the critics. It is not just a...

    • FROM PREFACE TO FILM (UK, 1954)
      (pp. 607-613)
      Raymond Williams

      Our enquiry in this book springs from an attempt to solve, in practice, problems of present-day work in the film. We are presenting a case for what we believe to be a new approach to film-making. We discuss theory, but this is not a text-book of theory of the film; it is, rather, intended as a starting point for actual production, and may be regarded, in this sense, as a manifesto. . . .

      Film, in its main uses, is a particular medium within the general tradition of drama. Its essential novelty, as a dramatic medium, is that it offers...

    • THE SNAKESKIN (Sweden, 1965)
      (pp. 614-616)
      Ingmar Bergman

      Artistic creation has always, to me, manifested itself as hunger. I have acknowledged this need with a certain satisfaction but I have never, in all my life, asked myself why this hunger has arisen and craved appeasement. In recent years, as it diminishes and is transformed into something else, I have become anxious to find out the cause of my “artistic activity.”

      A very early childhood memory is my need to show off my achievements: skill in drawing, the art of tossing a ball against a wall, my first effort at swimming.

      I remember I felt a very strong need...

    • MANIFESTO (Italy, 1965)
      (pp. 616-617)
      Roberto Rossellini, Bernardo Bertolucci, Tinto Brass, Gianni Amico, Adriano Apra, Gian Vittorio Baldi and Vittorio Cottafavi

      It is among the most dramatic features of modern civilisation that the vast improvement in the standard of living, resulting from scientific and technical advances, has brought with it, not a taste of happiness and moral well-being, but a disconcerting impression of disturbance and sickness. There is a vague feeling abroad that our civilization is only temporary, and already inwardly eroded. Agitation, violence, indifference, boredom, anguish, spiritual inertia and passive recognition are all expressed in every level, by individuals and socially. Modern man in the so-called “developed” countries no longer seems to have awareness of himself or of those things...

    • MANIFESTO ON THE RELEASE OF LA CHINOISE (France, 1967)
      (pp. 618-618)
      Jean-Luc Godard

      Fifty years after the October Revolution, the American industry rules cinema the world over. There is nothing much to add to this statement of fact. Except that on our own modest level we too should provoke two or three Vietnams in the bosom of the vast Hollywood-Cinecittá-Mosfilm-Pinewood-etc. empire, and, both economically and aesthetically, struggling on two fronts as it were, create cinemas which are national, free, brotherly, comradely and bonded in friendship....

    • DIRECT ACTION CINEMA MANIFESTO (USA, 1985)
      (pp. 618-619)
      Rob Nilsson

      . . . a practice created to allow actors and technicians high freedom and deep responsibility to create memorable cinema. It is a dynamic jazz ensemble of actors, camera, sound, directors, and editors that creates and interprets together, seeking the unexpected, the extraordinary, the miracles only a well-prepared combo can play.

      Create a situation, define and develop a character. Combine the two and watch them collide, attract, and repel. Build drama from this dynamic, closer to the way life happens to us and we happen back.

      Grow a narrative with the story spine hidden, accreting like a coral reef from...

    • REMODERNIST FILM MANIFESTO (USA, 2008)
      (pp. 619-622)
      Jesse Richards

      1. Art manifestos, despite the good intentions of the writer should always “be taken with a grain of salt” as the cliché goes, because they are subject to the ego, pretensions, and plain old ignorance and stupidity of their authors. This goes all the way back to the Die Brücke manifesto of 1906, and continues through time to this one that you’re reading now. A healthy wariness of manifestos is understood and encouraged. However, the ideas put forth here are meant sincerely and with the hope of bringing inspiration and change to others, as well as to myself.

      2. Remodernism...

    • THE AGE OF AMATEUR CINEMA WILL RETURN (People’s Republic of China, 2010)
      (pp. 622-624)
      Jia Zhangke

      In a restaurant far away from downtown Pusan, Tony Rayns discussed with me some issues on films on behalf of the British magazineSight & Sound.

      For some reason, conversations about films always get people trapped into sentimental feelings. In order to get out of this mood, Tony brought up a new topic and asked me, “What do you think will become the driving force for the development of films in the future?” Without hesitation, I replied, “The age of amateur cinema will return.” This was the most truthful and vivid feeling I had, and I had been continually reinforcing...

  16. APPENDIX. WHAT IS A “MANIFESTO FILM”?
    (pp. 625-628)
  17. NOTES
    (pp. 629-634)
  18. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS OF PERMISSIONS
    (pp. 635-640)
  19. INDEX
    (pp. 641-652)