Scott MacKenzie (ed.): Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Cultures: A Critical Anthology (2014)

7 July 2015, dusan

“This is the first book to collect manifestos from the global history of cinema, providing the first historical and theoretical account of the role played by film manifestos in filmmaking and film culture. Focusing equally on political and aesthetic manifestos, Scott MacKenzie uncovers a neglected, yet nevertheless central history of the cinema, exploring a series of documents that postulate ways in which to re-imagine the cinema and, in the process, re-imagine the world.

This volume collects the major European “waves” and figures (Eisenstein, Truffaut, Bergman, Free Cinema, Oberhausen, Dogme ‘95); Latin American Third Cinemas (Birri, Sanjinés, Espinosa, Solanas); radical art and the avant-garde (Buñuel, Brakhage, Deren, Mekas, Ono, Sanborn); and world cinemas (Iimura, Makhmalbaf, Sembene, Sen). It also contains previously untranslated manifestos co-written by figures including Bollaín, Debord, Hermosillo, Isou, Kieslowski, Painlevé, Straub, and many others. Thematic sections address documentary cinema, aesthetics, feminist and queer film cultures, pornography, film archives, Hollywood, and film and digital media. Also included are texts traditionally left out of the film manifestos canon, such as the Motion Picture Production Code and Pius XI’s Vigilanti Cura, which nevertheless played a central role in film culture.”

Publisher University of California Press, 2014
ISBN 0520276744, 9780520276741
xxi+651 pages
via slowrotation

Author’s talk (video, 2017, 20 min).

Reviews: Wheeler Winston Dixon (Film International), Matthew Hunt, Bill Nichols (Film Quarterly).


PDF, PDF (updated on 2019-7-14)

Leshu Torchin: Creating the Witness: Documenting Genocide on Film, Video, and the Internet (2012)

2 September 2013, dusan

“Since the beginning of the conflict in 2003, more than 300,000 lives have been lost in Darfur. Players of the video game Darfur Is Dying learn this sobering fact and more as they endeavor to ensure the survival of a virtual refugee camp. The video game not only puts players in the position of a struggling refugee, it shows them how they can take action in the real world.

Creating the Witness examines the role of film and the Internet in creating virtual witnesses to genocide over the past one hundred years. The book asks, how do visual media work to produce witnesses—audiences who are drawn into action? The argument is a detailed critique of the notion that there is a seamless trajectory from observing an atrocity to acting in order to intervene. According to Leshu Torchin, it is not enough to have a camera; images of genocide require an ideological framework to reinforce the messages the images are meant to convey. Torchin presents wide-ranging examples of witnessing and genocide, including the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust (engaging film as witness in the context of the Nuremburg trials), and the international human rights organization WITNESS and its sustained efforts to use video to publicize human rights advocacy and compel action.

From a historical and comparative approach, Torchin’s broad survey of media and the social practices around it investigates the development of popular understandings of genocide to achieve recognition and response—both political and judicial—ultimately calling on viewers to act on behalf of human rights.”

Publisher University of Minnesota Press, 2012
Visible Evidence series, Volume 26
ISBN 0816676224, 9780816676224
296 pages

Author’s discussion of the book


Alice Růžičková: Český dokumentární film v 80. letech: “Originální Videojournal” (2000) [Czech]

15 August 2013, dusan

The diploma work of Alice Růžičková entitled The Czech Documentary Film in the 1980s: “Original Videojournal” analyses the origin and history of the Czech underground audiovisual periodical, produced between 1987 and 1989 by a group of Czech dissidents including Olga Havlová, Michal Hýbek, Pavel Kačírek, Jan Kašpar, Andrej Krob, Jan Ruml, Joska Skalník, Andrej Stankovič, and many others.

In the late 1987, an idea was born to not only send the video shots documenting the Czechoslovak dissident activities abroad, but also to produce a programme for the domestic audience. With the financial aid from the Czech exile centers abroad (Foundation of Charter 77, ČSDS – Czechoslovak Documentary Centre), the “Original Videojournal” editorial group acquired a video tape recorder Sony Video-8. This led to the production of video news from the dissident and alternative culture, covering political and ecological issues from the “unofficial” perspective.

The thesis first locates the origin of the journal among diverse groups in Prague, Brno and other places. Further, it contains an analysis of seven regular and two thematic programmes produced before November 1989, followed by nine special volumes made during and shortly after the 1989 revolution.

Attachments include a correspondence between Václav Havel and František Janouch, reflections about the Journal in printed underground zines, related historical texts, bibliography from the Libri Prohibiti database, script of the documentary film Zblízka Originální videojournal (dir. Alice Růžičková, 1998), and photographic documentation.

Master thesis
FAMU (Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts), Prague
Supervisor: Marie Šandová
78 pages

Czech TV programme series about Original Videojournal, 20 episodes, 26 min. each, 2011–2012
Original Videojournal at Monoskop wiki