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Emile de Antonio

A Reader

2000

Douglas Kellner and Dan Streible, editors
Foreword by Haskell Wexler

Emile de Antonio

An absorbing collection of writings by and about an American original.

This is the first full-length volume devoted to this major American filmmaker who revolutionized the documentary format and inspired a generation of artists and filmmakers. Offering a long-overdue assessment of de Antonio’s career, this indispensable book also makes a significant contribution to our understanding of American independent cinema at its most politically engaged.

It is hard to believe that this is the first book on this major American filmmaker who not only directed documentary masterpieces but also had a huge impact on several generations of American film. This long-overdue collection is wonderfully absorbing.

Thomas Waugh, Concordia University, Montreal

Innovative documentary filmmaker; friend of Andy Warhol, John Cage, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and other leading figures of the New York art world; radical leftist critic of the Establishment; and legendary bon vivant: Emile de Antonio (1919-1989) was a larger-than-life personality and a key figure in the development of postwar American cinema. The films de Antonio made between 1963 and 1989—including Point of Order, Rush to Judgment, In the Year of the Pig, Painters Painting, and Millhouse: A White Comedy—revolutionized the documentary format and inspired a generation of artists and filmmakers. A decade after his death, his cinematic legacy—ranging from the brilliantly edited compilation of the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings that helped construct Senator Joseph McCarthy’s reputation as a rogue demagogue (Point of Order) to a meditative juxtaposition of documents about F.B.I. director J. Edgar Hoover and intimate footage drawn from the filmmaker’s own life (Mr. Hoover and I)-remains unparalleled in American documentary film.

Emile de Antonio: A Reader is the first full-length volume devoted to this major American filmmaker. It collects interviews with and writings by de Antonio; reviews and other critical material that detail the genesis, production history, and reception of his films; a comprehensive filmography; and an in-depth biographical essay. Offering a long-overdue assessment of de Antonio’s career, this indispensable book also makes a significant contribution to our understanding of American independent cinema at its most politically engaged.

Emile de Antonio

Douglas Kellner is George F. Kneller Chair in the Philosophy of Education at UCLA and author of numerous books, including Media Culture (1995). He is Emile de Antonio’s literary executor.

Dan Streible is assistant professor of film studies and art history at the University of South Carolina.

Emile de Antonio

The first full-length book on de Antonio’s films, Douglas Kellner and Daniel G. Streible’s superb Emile de Antonio: A Reader is a long-overdue appreciation of one of America’s greatest independent filmmakers. Prefaced by the editors’ exceedingly well-informed summary of de Antonio’s career, the raison d’etre of the book is its fantastic collection of interviews, well-selected contemporary film reviews by both boosters and detractors, and short essays by de Antonio and his collaborators.

Independent Film and Video Monthly

It is hard to believe that this is the first book on this major American filmmaker who not only directed documentary masterpieces but also had a huge impact on several generations of American film. This long-overdue collection is wonderfully absorbing.

Thomas Waugh, Concordia University, Montreal

Kellner and Streible have skillfully assembled one of the first monographs about the life and career of this political documentary filmmaker, and they have added an engaging 75-page biographical essay. They include interviews with and articles about the director, reviews and critical essays about the films, reminiscences by colleagues and friends, illustrations, an extensive bibliography, and a complete filmography. Unlike a majority of film books, this one will stimulate readers to view the subject’s films. Highly recommended.

Library Journal