PRINT January 2019



Annette Michelson and P. Adams Sitney, New York, 1976. Photo: Babette Mangolte.

EARLY IN 1969, an article in Artforum opened a door for me—and, as I soon learned, not only for me—onto a conception of cinema much larger and more intellectually stimulating than any I had until then imagined. I had only recently embarked on my training for an academic career in twentieth-century art history, even while quietly questioning whether I would ever have anything new or important to say about Picasso or Pop art. Given my already-kindled enthusiasm for movies, I was not sure I cared if I did. 

I was familiar with the first academic essays about such European auteurs as Antonioni and Bergman in some of the “little magazines” of the time, as well as with the debates about a recent French import, “auteurist” criticism, whose advocates argued that American studio filmmakers such as Hitchcock and Hawks, along with renegades like Welles, should be considered important artists

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