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'Underground' film is finally emerging in terms of the public consciousness as an important and enduring contribution to the world of celluloid, both as entertainment and as an art form. The author, Stephen Dwoskin, is a young American independent filmmaker with personal experience in an expert knowledge of a creative area barely studied until this time. He has created in FILM IS an invaluable record of the pioneering cinematic statements that are at once peripheral and central to film today on an international scale.
It is both culturally and sociologically true today that an increasing number of the painters and the poets have become filmmakers. Unpressured by big business, free cinema has become a personal, creative expression for many men and women who often work in obscurity with small means indeed.
Dwoskin's work presents the early history of the independent film from its beginning in the twenties to its phenomenal outburst in the sixties, written by an involved, perceptive critic. Through his own work and his contributions to the juries of international festivals, Dwoskin has a wide-rnaging knowledge of the independent film from the U.S. to Britain, Italy, Germany, and Austria. Over 700 films are discussed, many for the first time. Van der Beek, Refenstahl, Brakhage, Emshwiller, Ray and Jack Smith are only some of the experimental filmmakers mentioned in FILM IS, but Dwoskin refers forwards and backwards to the works of others, often better known- Bunuel, Cocteau, Fassbinder, Truffaut, Warhol. There is also a comprehensive index.
FILM IS provides a unique and invaluable reference work for all those interested in the frontiers of film consciousness.
Stephen Dwoskin was born in new York in 1939, and has lived in London since 1964 where he was one of the founders of the Fim-makers' Co-operative. His films are shown increasingly at festivals around the world which feature the work of independent filmmakers. His own first film, the 4-minute "Asleep" was made in 1961, and Dwoskin has also won numerous awards for other works. Since 1973 Stephen Dwoskin has been a lecturer in film and television at the Royal College of Art in London.