Synopsis by Mark Deming
Amos Vogel was not a filmmaker, but that doesn't change the fact that he was a vitally important figure in American experimental filmmaking. Born in Vienna, Vogel came to the United States in 1938 and he developed a passionate interest in the arts. Intrigued by the burgeoning experimental film movement after seeing the early works of Maya Deren, Vogel was disappointed that there were so few places to see non-mainstream films, even in New York City. Vogel responded by forming Cinema 16, a non-profit film society, with his wife Marcia Vogel in 1947. In time, Cinema 16 became one of America's leading showcases for avant garde filmmaking, documentaries, and foreign films that didn't appeal to mainstream tastes; important early works by Roman Polanski, Luis Buñuel, and John Cassavetes received their first American screenings at Cinema 16, and at one point the group boasted a remarkable 6,000 members. Documentary filmmaker Paul Cronin offers a personal look at Vogel and his life in the arts in Film as a Subversive Art: Amos Vogel and Cinema 16, which takes its title from a book on film study written by Vogel.
avant-garde, career-retrospective, collective, experimental [arts], filmmaker, film-scene, unconventional