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Author:Dobi, Stephen J.Year: 1984
Dissertation Title:Cinema 16: America's Largest Film Society

This study examines the sixteen year history (1947-1963) of this unique film society. It looks at its beginnings, goals, motives, biases and method of operation. It examines how the organization saw its role in film art and commerce; how it defined the job it set out to do, and how it accomplished that job.

It examines in detail the many projects Cinema 16 created for its membership of over 7,000 cineastes. These included Regular Programs, Special Events, Film Appreciation Courses, The Children's Cinema, excursions to George Eastman House, Robert Flaherty Awards, Creative Film Awards, program notes, and its major contribution to American Avant-garde film exhibition and distribution.

Cinema 16 introduced to America the works of Lindsay Anderson, Kenneth Anger, Michelangelo Antonioni, Stan Brakhage, Robert Breer, Robert Bresson, John Cassavetes, Shirley Clarke, Bruce Conner, Carmen D'Avino, Vittorio de Sica, Ed Emshwiller, Pierre Etaix, John Hubley, Tadashi Imai, Humphrey Jennings, Gavin Lambert, Jan Lenica, Norman McLaren, Andrzej Munk, Leopoldo Torre-Nilsson, Yasujiro Ozu, Roman Polanski, Karel Reisz, Tony Richardson, Jacques Rivette, Lionel Rogosin, Arne Sucksdorff, Shiro Toyoda, Stan Vanderbeek, Agnes Varda, Herbert Vesely, among others.

In sixteen years it presented over thirteen-hundred films ranging in length from sixty seconds to features, most in premiere showings. It arranged for subtitled versions, music tracks, paying for "dupe-negatives," importation costs, customs fees, and always paying rental fees.

Cinema 16 conducted symposia and lectures on films and related topics. Personal appearances were made by Rudolf Arnheim, Joseph Burstyn, Joseph Campbell, James Card, Salvador Dali, Maya Deren, Ralph Ellison, Frances Flaherty, Richard Griffith, Nat Hentoff, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kramer, Fritz Lang, Lotte Lenya, Norman McLaren, Sidney Meyers, Arthur Miller, Jean Renoir, Hans Richter, Dylan Thomas, Parker Tyler, Willard Van Dyke, King Vidor, Tennessee Williams, Archer Winsten, Robert Wise, Fred Zinneman, and others.

Its greatest contribution was to the avant-garde--all of the leading and subsequently famous names in the film avant garde of the period were premiered at Cinema 16. It helped create reputations.

Proquest Doc ID 753585041
Non-NYU: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database
Publication Number:AAT 8421503
Pages: 387
Keywords:Film Societies; Avant Garde Film; Cinema 16