Category: News

“Film as Film” Paperback

The Visible Press are pleased to announce the newly available paperback edition of Film as Film: The Collected Writings of Gregory J. Markopoulos.

The 2014 publication of Gregory Markopoulos’ writings was greeted with widespread acclaim and celebration. As the original hardback edition falls out of print, we felt that it was necessary to keep these important texts available. 

The new paperback has a slightly smaller page size (8 x 5 inches) and is 544 pages long. This edition is printed throughout in black and white, and does not contain the 16 pages of colour images that were in the original, but it does benefit from minor corrections and a revised filmography. All of the original texts are intact.

Gregory J. Markopoulos (1928-1992) is a unique figure in film history. As a contemporary of Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage and Andy Warhol, he was at the forefront of a movement that established a truly independent form of cinema. Later in life, the filmmaker pursued his ideal of Temenos, an archive and screening space to be located at a remote site in the Peloponnese where his epic work ENIAIOS could be viewed in harmony with the Greek landscape. The publication of Film as Film brought to light some ninety out-of-print or previously unavailable articles written between the mid-1950s and 1992.

Film as Film: The Collected Writings of Gregory J. Markopoulos can be ordered direct from The Visible Press, and should also be available through your local Amazon site. It is also being stocked by some of our partner shops.

The paperback edition is being printed digitally. The Visible Press maintains copies on hand for mail order and retail, but the book may be printed on demand if you purchase from other online sources. 

Whilst we are very happy with the quality of this digital production, rest assured that we remain committed to producing new books with the same high quality and production values as our first three titles.

A handful of copies of the first edition hardback are still available. The book is now becoming collectable so we have increased the price to £50 to raise additional funds for Temenos and to support the continuation of The Visible Press. To purchase, please select “Hardback” from the pop-up menu on the order page.

The vital statistics for the paperback are as follows :-

Film as Film: The Collected Writings of Gregory J. Markopoulos
Edited by Mark Webber, with a foreword by P. Adams Sitney
The Visible Press, December 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9928377-3-0
203 x 127 x 35 mm
544 pages, black and white, with Revised filmography

For more details, or to place an order, visit The Visible Press shop.

Slow Writing Cinema Scope Review

A long and thoughtful review of Thom Andersen’s book “Slow Writing” appears in the curent issue of Cinema Scope Magazine (CS73), and can be read online by following this link.

Sean Rogers writes :-

“… Slow Writing, the new collection of Andersen’s writings on cinema, is like his films: measured, political, a little bit ornery, striving to bring forward similarly obscured meanings (historical, formal, ideological, personal) from a likewise diverse body of sources. Compiling Andersen’s trickle of program notes and unpublished essays from 1966 to 1994, as well as the comparative deluge of post-Los Angeles Plays Itself work from 2005 on, Slow Writing evinces a remarkably consistent set of concerns across the 50 years of its author’s thinking about cinema. As in Andersen’s films, his subject matter is eclectic and catholic, ranging from sexploitation flicks to Ozu Yasujiro, with stops at Andy Warhol, the blacklist, and Phil Spector along the way. When his topic is narrative films, Andersen describes in detail what they’re about; when it’s avant-garde films, he explains precisely what they do. He manages to be evocative and exacting, as alert to a film’s social implications as he is to its form.”

Sean Rogers, Hollywood, Read: Slow Writing: Thom Andersen on Cinema”, Cinema Scope, Issue 73.

Los Angeles Review of Books

Jordan Cronk of Acropolis Cinema spoke to Thom Andersen about “Slow Writing” for the Los Angeles Review of Books. The interview is a wide-ranging discussion of film criticism and Thom’s personal approach to writing. Read it online at the LARB.

“In general people don’t talk enough about chemistry when they talk about film. The essential discovery that made motion pictures possible didn’t have anything to do with devices for simulating motion or reproducing motion. They had to do with chemical processes, creating a flexible film base. That’s why I said Muybridge wasn’t an inventor of modern cinema. It was basically George Eastman. And it was a by-product of military development, another thing that should be emphasized more if you’re talking about the origins of film. Gun powder. Cellulose is gun powder, which is why it was so dangerous. 

Thom Andersen interviewed by Jordan Cronk, Los Angeles Review of Books, 2o17

Reagan at the Movies

The Verso Books blog has posted online the complete text of Thom Andersen’s essay “Reagan at the Movies”. The article was originally written for Artforum magazine in 1984 but feels particularly pertinent to the current political climate. The essay remained unpublished until its recent inclusion in “Slow Writing: Thom Andersen on Cinema.” An excerpt is below, and the full article can now be read online at Verso Books.

“Some would say the problem isn’t that Ronald Reagan still likes movies, it’s the movies that he likes. But I think the commentators who find Reagan’s support of Rambo unbecoming have missed the point. Reagan’s special genius as a politician has been his ability to make ressentiment seem virtuous and respectable. People like him because he makes them feel good about their anger. This is no small achievement. He succeeds so well because the rage and frustration he expresses is felt sincerely. He managed to keep his own sense of ressentiment alive against all odds. At the height of his fame and fortune as a movie star, he was able to feel passionately and keenly the injustice of the progressive income tax (and his apparently quixotic forty-year crusade against it has finally ended in a remarkable victory — a happy ending more improbable than Jimmy Stewart’s triumph in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington). When he ranted about welfare chiselers, you knew he meant it. Her could count the dollars they were stealing from him.”
(Thom Andersen, Reagan at the Movies, 1984)

Slow Writing Frieze Review

The first review of “Slow Writing: Thom Andersen on Cinema” has appeared in the October 2017 issue of Friezeand is authored by Nick Pinkerton. Frieze subscribers can access the review online

“Because he has never made a living as a writer, Andersen has been free to pursue a criticism of enthusiasms, though one gets a sense of how much in commercial cinema fails to meet his standards. There is a stern loftiness in his authorial voice that makes me want to quibble with his conclusions even when I happen to agree with them. Yet, Andersen’s killjoy persona is hard to square with the man who, in The Thoughts That Once We Had, pays tribute to Maria Montez in Robert Siodmak’s South Seas fantasia Cobra Woman. Andersen rebuts one reviewer’s judgement of his film’s ‘tiresomely doctrinaire; and ‘quaint’ Leftism by noting that the audience at its public screening was a young one, and I think there’s much evidence that overtly ideologically grounded criticism of the sort Andersen practises is far from dated. […]

“In his review of the 2004 book The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood by David Thomson – a figure identified in the voice-over of Los Angeles Plays Itself of loving ‘everything about America except what’s worth loving’ – Andersen states that Thomson’s books ‘are fun to argue with.’ This is high praise of a kind that Slow Writing deserves. Andersen’s book is periodically brilliant and rarely less than absorbing; even, or perhaps especially, when you’re thinking about booting it across the room. It makes for a fine companion – and a worthy, vigorous opponent.”

—– Nick Pinkerton, Frieze, No. 190, October 2017