“Film as Film” reviewed in Artforum
Erika Balsom has written a wonderful article on Gregory J. Markopoulos and “Film as Film” for the March 2015 issue of Artforum. The conclusion is below, but you can read the full article online at www.artforum.com.
“The cultic aura that surrounds Markopoulos is intense, and Film as Film does little to diffuse it. Sometimes it can feel as if Markopoulos’s edict regarding the behavior of the ideal spectator remains in force today. In making available texts that had been exceedingly difficult to access, this collection represents a tremendous primary resource that at last illuminates a central personality of experimental cinema. But this is not a book that seeks to challenge the narrative that this sometimes self-mythologizing filmmaker crafted about himself. Markopoulos believed that unquestioning devotion was the best way to honor the creator, but critical perspectives are important as well. In addition to facilitating access to this material, one of the great contributions of Film as Film is its implicit demonstration of the need for further scholarship that will place Markopoulos’s films and writings in conversation with historical realities and differing points of view.”
Erika Balsom, excerpt from “Future Projections”, Artforum, March 2015
“Film as Film” reviewed in The Times Literary Supplement
The current issue of the Times Literary Supplement contains a full page review of “Film as Film” written by David Collard”. The article appears in the print edition dated 23 January 2015, and is only available to view online by subscribers.
“Markopoulos was a prolific if rather unpolished writer but this substantial volume, which is beautifully illustrated and impeccably edited, shows his writings are consistently absorbing. Although they tend increasingly towards the grandiose and metaphysical, they thankfully avoid the arid theoretical dicsourse that surrounds experimental film.”
Erratum: The opening paragraph contains a few factual errors. Markopoulos moved from the US to Europe in 1967-68 (not 1972), and it is not true that he refused to do interviews – many appeared in journals and newspapers, or on European radio and television broadcasts.
Jonas Mekas on Markopoulos
A previously unpublished diary entry by Jonas Mekas has been published by The Brooklyn Rail to run alongside Markopoulos’ important essay “Towards a Complete Order” (1974). In this text, Markopoulos writes about the moment in which he decides to re-edit his entire body of work into what became Eniaios. “… the prints that now exist have become but work prints, a fitting jest to the speculators of my work, known and unknown.”
Jonas Mekas was one of Markopoulos’ most faithful and enthusiastic supporters. In his diary entry, which dates from 1965, Mekas recalls Markopoulos’ extraordinary and assured method of editing – “Gregory was editing, with film strips hanging down from the ceiling to the floor, so that the south side of his room looked like a willow tree …” – perfectly describing the photograph by Jerome Hiler that appears on the cover of Film as Film.
These articles appear in the Dec/Jan print issue of The Brooklyn Rail but are also online here.
Give “Film as Film” This Christmas !
“In all this vastness, within a grandeur of purpose, Searching, standard is being established. In the morning sky, a brilliant star is visible above this Winter. Still another star, suspended near the moon in the clear crisp air Wills the place; the many worked sites of the temenoi, towards the Temenos.”
—– Gregory J. Markopoulos, Entheos
—– 31st of December, 1978
It is almost too late to receive mail order copies of Film as Film: The Collected Writings of Gregory J. Markopoulos before Christmas 2014, but the book is currently available for purchase at several select outlets in Europe and North America.
BFI Southbank Shop
Koenig Books Charing Cross Road
Koenig Books Museumsquartier
Re:Voir / The Film Gallery
Jeu de Paume Librairie
Centre George Pompidou / Flammarion
EYE filmmuseum Store
New York City, USA
Anthology Film Archives
Wexner Center Store
San Francisco, California
Santa Barbara, California
If there is a shop, cinematheque or museum store that you think should be stocking our publications then please let us know by sending a message using this link.
Alexander Horwath on Film as Film
Alexander Horwath is the director of the Österreichisches Filmmuseum, where a major retrospective of films by Gregory J. Markopoulos will be presented from 19-24 November 2014. See here for details of the programme on the Filmmuseum website.
“In 1955, roughly at mid-point between now and when cinema began, the 27-year-old filmmaker Gregory J. Markopoulos summoned the names of Griffith, Ince, Stroheim, Eisenstein, Murnau, Sternberg and Dreyer in a lecture titled “The Responsibility of the Cinema In Our Age”. This lineage is not a marginal aspect in the supremely important body of personal film work signed by Markopoulos, nor in his writings that are now available in a beautiful and far-reaching collection. It isn’t a marginal aspect because there is only one cinema – and neither Vertov nor Hitchcock, let’s say, nor Markopoulos can be separated from it. In order for the practice (and the genius) of cinema to be understood in the future, we should cease from splitting off some of the medium’s core achievements into segregated ‘special domains’. The validity of such rubrics and handicaps, mostly invented and held up by commercial or academic interests, will pass into oblivion faster than celluloid itself.
“All who have dreamed of a single library shelf where the collected writings of cinema’s great practitioners can stand side-by-side – Claire Denis next to Alexander Dovzhenko, Kubelka next to Keaton, Weerasethakul next to Welles – should be extremely grateful that now, right next to the spot reserved for Mizoguchi, Book Number One is finding its place on that shelf. Film as Film, with its contents ranging from critical essays to poetry – all part of an autobiography – is not just a great read for anyone interested in film as an art form … It’s also a double inspiration: to young artists who are just beginning to test their respective tools, training their eyes, ears, hands and machines on the world to achieve something beyond imitation; as well as to those who have not yet seen enough of the actual films made by Gregory J. Markopoulos. To quote the title of one of his masterpieces: this book is the Galaxie of Markopoulos moments, ninety-one intense spotlights from the artist’s life as a writer.”
—– Alexander Horwath
Film as Film; The Collected Writings of Gregory J. Markopoulos is available for purchase at the Austrian Film Museum, priced 25 Euros.