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Enduring Images

A Future History of New Left Cinema

2018
Author:

Morgan Adamson

Enduring Images

An integrated look at the political films of the 1960s and ’70s and how the New Left transformed cinema

A timely reassessment of political film culture in the 1960s and ’70s, Enduring Images examines international cinematic movements of the New Left in light of sweeping cultural and economic changes of that era. Looking at new forms of cinematic resistance—including readings of particular films, collectives, and movements—it makes a case for cinema’s centrality to the global New Left.

Enduring Images is a powerful and nuanced re-reading of the New Left, viewed through the triptych of critical theory, radical politics, and documentary film.

Jonathan Kahana, author of Intelligence Work and editor of The Documentary Film Reader

A timely reassessment of political film culture in the 1960s and ’70s, Enduring Images examines international cinematic movements of the New Left in light of sweeping cultural and economic changes of that era. Looking at new forms of cinematic resistance—including detailed readings of particular films, collectives, and movements—Morgan Adamson makes a case for cinema’s centrality to the global New Left.

Enduring Images details how student, labor, anti-imperialist, Black Power, and second-wave feminist movements broke with auteur cinema and sought to forge local and international solidarities by producing political essay films, generating new ways of being and thinking in common. Adamson produces a comparative and theoretical account of New Left cinema that engages with discussions of work, debt, information, and resistance. Enduring Images argues that the cinemas of the New Left are sites to examine, through the lens of struggle, the reshaping of global capitalism during the pivotal moment in which they were made, while at the same time exploring how these movements endure in contemporary culture and politics.

Including in-depth discussions of Third Cinema in Argentina, feminist cinema in Italy, Newsreel movements in the United States, and cybernetics in early video, Enduring Images is an essential examination of the political films of the 1960s and ’70s.

Enduring Images

Morgan Adamson is assistant professor of media and cultural studies at Macalester College.

Enduring Images

Enduring Images is a powerful and nuanced re-reading of the New Left, viewed through the triptych of critical theory, radical politics, and documentary film.

Jonathan Kahana, author of Intelligence Work and editor of The Documentary Film Reader

Morgan Adamson’s elegant and fascinating study shows how the cinematic image was an important weapon in the arsenal of revolutionary movements of the 1960s and ‘70s. Despite the effects of the counter-revolution that followed, the legacy of those cinematic experiments is still alive today, a resource for generating new ways of knowing the world and, perhaps, transforming it.

Michael Hardt, Duke University*

Enduring Images

Introduction
1. The New Left’s Essay Film: From Subjective Expression to Collective Insurgency
2. Toward a New Mode of Study: The Student New Left and the Occupation of Cinema
3. Finally Got the News at the End of the Short American Century
4. Italian Feminist Collectives and the “Unexpected Subject”
5. Cybernetic Guerrilla Warfare: Early Video and the Ambivalence of Information
6. Inflation of the Image; or, The Image of Revolution in the 1970s
Epilogue: A Future History?
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index