Cinema Scope

For a Cameraless Cinema

“That photography is not a prerequisite for handmade cinema’s production means that we can more easily come to view how artists used a variety of materials—not only paint, but also rain, oil, or electricity—as well as other media, technologies, and practices where cameras might be avoided, in order to pursue the goal of constructing time-based abstract compositions.”

Gregory Zinman’s excellent new book on movies made (or is everything one wants in this age of over-scribbling at the margins of cinema. Lucid, smart, but entirely readable, and compellingly illuminated with colour illustrations of the wonders it describes, is formidable historiography: it’s a volume you’ll want to display proudly on your shelf, somewhere between Gene Youngblood’s and Amos Vogel’s . High praise indeed, but Zinman easily earns it. Ten minutes after picking up the book I was noting the names of artists and filmmakers whose work I’d yet to explore, setting the book briefly aside to search for titles on Vimeo and discovering, for example, the “handmade Rorschach test” abstractions of Josh Lewis’ films (), and feeling cinema expand once again, page by fascinating page.

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