26.April.2012: Legendary New York film impresario Amos Vogel died two days ago. He was 91. Perhaps the most succinct tribute comes from the Brooklyn experimental film venue Light Industry’s Twitter feed: “Rest in peace, Amos. We owe you everything.” Eugene Hernandez quotes from Martin Scorsese’s statement to the Film Society of Lincoln Center: “If you’re looking for the origins of film culture in America, look no further than Amos Vogel…Between Cinema 16 (which he ran with his beloved wife Marcia and which opened our eyes to Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage, Bruce Conner, Kenneth Anger, Cassavetes’ Shadows, and hundreds of other visionary films and filmmakers), The New York Film Festival (which he co-founded with Richard Roud), and his book Film As a Subversive Art, Amos opened the doors to every possibility in film viewing, film exhibiton, film curating, film appreciation.” Film Society program director Richard Peña chimes in, “”His impact continues to be felt every day, and in my own personal case, every hour: ‘What would Amos think of this?’ is a thought that has informed my work as both a film programmer and professor of film studies for many years.” Like many others who came of age after Vogel’s glory days, Evan Calder Williams accessed his legacy through Film as a Subversive Act: “It was, for me as for a lot of others, a revelation that continues. It was, is, and will be, one of the most crucial books written about, as he puts it, ‘the evolution from taboo into freedom.’”
Speaking of subversion, found-footage master Adam Curtis republished his dense chronicle of Rupert Murdoch (winningly titled “Rupert Murdoch—A Portrait of Satan”) at the BBC blog yesterday on occasion of Murdoch’s testimony before judicial inquiry.
Mark Asch has a new essay called “When Subcultures Surface” up at The L Magazine. The occasion for this “reveling in the supreme awkwardness of the moments when it [seems] plausible that this or that cult might be swept up into the American mainstream” came of recounting some more surprising guests to have graced the American Bandstand stage after host Dick Clark’s death last week. Asch builds on the riff: “Studio movies, ever contorting themselves, Twister-like, to keep in contact with all four audience quadrants, are excellent places to see this zeitgeist piecework in action.”
Seattle audiences will have a chance to look at some of the world’s freshest cinematic talent when the National Film Festival for Talented Youth opens at Cinerama tonight with works exclusively by people 22 or younger. Amy Scott previews some of the highlights for The Stranger.
Finally, Cannes has announced its full competition jury. Led by Nanni Moretti, the group includes Wuthering Heights director Andrea Arnold and writer-director Alexander Payne.