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Among 1927 and 1933, the magazine “Close Up” championed a ecu avant-garde in film-making. This quantity republishes articles from the magazine, with an advent and a observation at the lives of, and complicated relationships among, its writers and editors.

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Extra resources for Close Up: Cinema And Modernism

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But even such a simple claim will have nuances for the reader in the 1990s which may skew a reading of Close Up on its own terms. Since the 1970s, the field of debate about avant-garde cinema has been largely defined by the terms laid down by Peter Wollen in his article 'The Two Avant Gardes', first published in Studio International in 1975. There he claimed that the two avant-gardes of the contemporary period - broadly, the formalist experimentation of people like Peter Gidal, Klaus Wyborny and the Co-Op movement versus the politically engaged cinema of Godard and Straub-Huillet - were prefigured by analogous movements in the 1920s.

Remember that England was supplying films to America before the war and then realize what a stigma it would be for us, after all these years, to speak of the birth of British films. So we point at dreadful scarecrows of the past and gibber of the revival of British films. Of course film technique changes. When the Film Society decided to revive Lubitsch's 'Marriage Circle' in London the Committee did not get an opportunity to run the film through till a few hours before the actual performance. They were appalled!

While England trundled deplorably in wake, the only thing that could be said for it that it didn't seem to mind being a laughing stock. Then we began to hear from Russia. We had got very sick of Russian novels and Russian plays, and in spite of a recrudescence of Russian influence in art and decoration, there was prejudice. But Potemkin and Aelita put an end to that. Russia was getting its finger on something. And Germany had done Joyless Street, so back we bounced to the Germanic thing. Hollywood gave The Big Parade, Germany, Metropolis, England it seemed was still being comic, and did Mons, while Italy, having done Quo Vadis, churned out the unspeakably atrocious Last Days of Pompei.

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