Amos Vogel: Film as a Subversive Art

Norman Z. McLeod – Horse Feathers (1932)

Synopsis:
Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff has just been installed as the new president of Huxley College. His cavalier attitude toward education is not reserved for his son Frank, who is seeing the college widow, Connie Bailey. Frank influences Wagstaff to recruit two football players who hang out in a speakeasy, in order to beat rival school Darwin. Unfortunately, Wagstaff mistakenly hires the misfits Baravelli and Pinky. Finding out that Darwin has beaten him to the “real” players, Wagstaff enlists Baravelli and Pinky to kidnap them, which leads to an anarchic football finale. Read More »

Michael Wadleigh – Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music [Director’s Cut] (1970) (HD)

Quote:
In 1969, 500,000 people descended on a small patch of field in a little-known town in upstate New York called Woodstock. In this documentary, the iconic event is chronicled in unflinching detail, from the event’s inception all the way through to the unexpected air-delivery of food and medical supplies by the National Guard. The film contains performances, interviews with the artists and candid footage of the fans in a defining portrait of 1960s America. Read More »

Edgar Reitz & Ula Stöckl – Geschichten vom Kübelkind AKA Tales Of The Dumpster Kid (1971)

A woman screams, a newborn baby cries. A nurse leaves the hospital and dumps a bucketfull of slimy afterbirth into a bin.Moments later, Kubelkind (“Dumpster-kid”, an Austrian insult) emerges fully grown from the slime. “Frau Dr. Welfare”, a cold, upper middle-class do-gooder discovers Kubelkind in the dustbin and plans to “save” her. But such “polymorphous-perverse, infantile monsters” have no place in normal society…. Read More »

Willie Walker – Life with Video (1972)

Quote:
William “Willie Boy” Walker calls himself “the world’s first video disk-jockey… a collector of video oddity, Art and Humor or anything you wouldn’t see on everyday television.” Read More »

Jan Nemec – O slavnosti a hostech AKA The Party and the Guests (1966)

Distinguished as being ‘banned forever’ in its native Czechoslovakia, Nemec’s film is a masterpiece of barbed, darkly sinister wit. As a biting satire of governmental and institutional power and with its astute observations of human nature and conformity, it is a film whose relevance continues to this day.
Considered the most politically dangerous film made during the short flowering of the Czech New Wave in the 1960s, this is its first-ever release on DVD. Read More »

Kaneto Shindô – Onibaba AKA Devil Woman (1964)

Synopsis:
In the Fourteenth Century, during a civil war in Japan, a middle-aged woman and her daughter-in-law survive in a hut in a field of reed killing warriors and soldiers to trade their possessions for food. When their neighbor Hachi defects from the war and returns home, they learn that their son and husband Kichi died while stealing supplies from farmers. Soon Hachi seduces the young widow and she sneaks out of her hut every night to have sex with him. When the older woman finds the affair of her daughter-in-law, she pleads with Hachi to leave the young woman with her since she would not be able to kill the warriors without her help. However, Hachi ignores her request and continues to meet the young woman. Read More »

Agnès Varda – Lions Love (1969)

Quote:
Agnes Varda directed this drama which combines formal dramatic structures with the openness of improvisational cinema verite. Independent filmmaker Shirley Clarke plays an avant-garde film director attempting to work with a major studio to finance her next project, in which she hopes to collaborate with James Rado and Jerome Ragni, creators of the musical Hair (who play themselves). She also wants to use Andy Warhol superstar Viva (who also appears as herself) as her leading lady. However, after much give and take between herself and the moneymen, the director learns that the plug has been pulled on her project, pushing her to the brink of suicide. Read More »