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Abstract Film and Beyond

Malcolm Le Grice, Abstract Film and Beyond (Cambridge, MA and London: The MIT Press), 1977, 160 pages, illustrated.

A KEY FEATURE WHICH HAS quite radically distinguished the English film avant-garde from that in the United States has been its stress, over the past five or six years, on public and private debate and dialogue among filmmakers and between filmmakers and critics. That stress underlines the relationship between theory and practice, often in a political or quasi-political manner.

In contrast, in the United States there is a standard, years-old museum and showcase format in which filmmakers appear with their work, introduce it and answer a few questions—but usually provoking no real critical engagement. This procedure continues a traditional romanticism by which artist and work remain mystified before an admiring audience. Meanwhile, there has been little new work, and even fewer

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