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The Cinema of Poetry: Book by P. Adams Sitney

The Cinema of Poetry

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ISBN: 9780199337033    Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc Year of publishing: 2014     Format:  Paperback No of Pages: 272        Language: English
Since the publication of his foundational work, Visionary Film, P. Adams Sitney has been considered one of our most eloquent and insightful interlocutors on the relationship between American film and poetry....Read more
Since the publication of his foundational work, Visionary Film, P. Adams Sitney has been considered one of our most eloquent and insightful interlocutors on the relationship between American film and poetry. His latest study, The Cinema of Poetry, emphasizes the vibrant world of European cinema in addition to incorporating the author's long abiding concerns on American avant-garde cinema. The work is divided into two principal parts, the first dealing with poetry and a trio of films by Dimitri Kirsanoff, Ingmar Bergman, and Andrei Tarkovsky; the second part explores selected American verse with American avant-garde films by Stan Brakhage, Ken Jacobs, and others. Both parts are linked by Pier Paolo Pasolini's theoretical 1965 essay "Il cinema di poesia" where the writer/director describes the use of the literary device of "free indirect discourse," which accentuates the subjective point-of view as well as the illusion of functioning as if without a camera. In other words, the camera is absent, and the experience of the spectator is to plunge into the dreams and consciousness of the characters and images presented in film.
Amplifying and applying the concepts advanced by Pasolini, Sitney offers extended readings of works by T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, and Charles Olson to demonstrate how modernist verse strives for the "camera-less" illusion achieved in a range of films that includes Fanny and Alexander, Stalker, Lawrence Jordan's Magic, and several short works by Joseph Cornell.
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About the author: P. Adams Sitney
P. Adams Sitney is Professor of Visual Arts in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University.

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Review:
passionate, deeply informed ... Sitney's style is at once erudite and accessible, and his insights into the works of these gifted artists are continually illuminating ... an elegantly crafted and...Read more
passionate, deeply informed ... Sitney's style is at once erudite and accessible, and his insights into the works of these gifted artists are continually illuminating ... an elegantly crafted and carefully considered book. W. W. Dixon, Choice P. Adams Sitney offers a monumental, enchanting account of poetry as cinema, turning the analogy upside-down, vividly and deftly tracing nuanced concepts of narrative versus lyric film, psychoanalysis, dreams, and social realities in European filmmakers as well as in cinema of the American avant-garde. Those familiar with Sitney's earlier 'visionary' scholarship will exult in the coming together of multiple strands; those unfamiliar, will be treated to a distilled, layered overview of a significant nexus in the history of film. Susan McCabe, author of Cinematic Modernism The Cinema of Poetry probes the vital questions of poetic narrative and lyric filmmaking in Europe and the United States. Sitney holds film theory and biographical detail in eloquent balance and lets the films & filmmakers speak for themselves. It is as rare in film studies as in filmmaking to encounter the flame of early enthusiasms sustained and matured over decades as it is found in The Cinema of Poetry.-Robert Beavers, filmmaker There is no other book that I know of that treats the cinema of poetry in both its European and American manifestations, and no other work that has offered the depth of insight into the European cinema of poetry that Sitney has. The Cinema of PoetryR is simply an outstanding piece of work-it is elegant, lucid, taut, and penetrating. R. Bruce Elder, author of Harmony and Dissent: Film and Avant-garde Art Movements in the Early Twentieth Century
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