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PRINT December 1983

POPCORN AND CANVAS

IS IT QUAINT TO SPEAK of art movies? I don’t mean those independently financed films, uncommercial esthetic expressions, which have been staples of small urban cinemas and university film societies since the ’20s. I do mean the recent high-budget films—typically international and most typically flaunting more art-historical connoisseurship and references than can be absorbed from years of visiting the Met and ritually attending university slide lectures—that self-consciously stake a claim for film as high culture. For the purposes of easily distinguishing them, let’s call the former art movies and the latter Art Movies.

By art movie I think of the family including Germaine Dulac’s The Smiling Madame Beudet (1922), Luis Buñuel’s and Salvador Dali’s Un Chien Andalou (1929), Dziga Vertov’s The Man with a Movie Camera (1929), Slavko Vorkapich’s and Robert Florey’s The Life and Death of 9413—A

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