The Afterimage Reader


The Afterimage Reader is an anthology of articles on radical cinema drawn from the pages of the independent British film journal Afterimage.

See HERE for details of a package including four original copies of Afterimage journal.

The Afterimage Reader
Edited by Mark Webber
The Visible Press, May 2022

The independent British film journal Afterimage published thirteen issues between 1970 and 1987. International in scope, it surveyed the many forms of radical cinema during an extraordinary period of film history. Having emerged in the wake of post-1968 cultural and political change, Afterimage charted contemporary developments with special issues on themes such as the avant-garde, Latin American cinema and visionary animation, and also looked back at early film pioneers. It published many of the leading critics of the period and vitally provided a forum for filmmakers’ writings and manifestos.

This indispensable collection includes texts by scholars Noël Burch, Roger Cardinal, B. Ruby Rich and Peter Wollen, filmmakers Jean Epstein, Jean-Luc Godard, Derek Jarman and Jan Švankmajer, plus extended interviews with Hollis Frampton and Raúl Ruiz, and more.

The Afterimage Reader is edited by Mark Webber and features new contributions from two of the journal’s editors, Simon Field and Ian Christie.

ISBN: 978-0-9928377-6-1

203 x 140 x 31 mm
352 pages, with b/w images throughout

Square-backed case
Ribbon marker, head and tail bands
Individually shrinkwrapped

*** Check our special Afterimage bundle offer at ***

The Afterimage Reader
Edited by Mark Webber
The Visible Press, May 2022

“On the cover of the first issue, Afterimage already displayed its own genius: a film still from the Ciné-tracts series, conceived in Paris 1968, was reproduced with the silver grain detail typical of structural films. Nothing that was politically and aesthetically revolutionary in the sphere of moving images was foreign to Afterimage – one of those precious magazines through which the great wind of history blows, one of those rare magazines that made history.”
—– Nicole Brenez

Afterimage stood for an editorial position that was not intended simply to inform but to break down barriers, create juxtapositions and initiate dialogues that would resonate across its readership. The Afterimage Reader returns these ideas and associated memories to today’s film community: the individual essays still speak with their original urgency, and the whole project re-animates an era in which a film-based avant-garde flourished in the UK.”
—– Laura Mulvey

The Afterimage Reader
Edited by Mark Webber
The Visible Press, May 2022

Simon Field

Mark Webber – Looking Back at Afterimage

Simon Hartog – Nowsreel (on the newsreel movement)
Jean-Luc Godard – What is to be Done? (on making political films)
Simon Field – Editorial 1: Avant-Garde Film
Peter Sainsbury – Editorial 2: Avant-Garde Film
Stephen Dwoskin – Mare’s Tail (on David Larcher)
Simon Field – Editorial: Third World Cinema
Peter Sainsbury – Battle of Algiers (on Gillo Pontecorvo)
John Mathews – … And After (on Latin American and guerrilla cinema)
Peter Sainsbury – Editorial: For a New Cinema
Peter Wollen – Counter Cinema: Vent d’est (on Jean-Luc Godard)
Simon Field – Interview with Hollis Frampton
Peter Sainsbury – Editorial: Aesthetics/ldeology/Cinema
Noël Burch & Jorge Dana – Propositions (on Fritz Lang, Orson Welles, Carl Dreyer)
Simon Field – Editorial: Perspectives on English Independent Cinema
Tony Rayns – Born to Kill: Mr. Soft Eliminator (on Jeff Keen)
Laura Mulvey & Peter Wollen – Written Discussion (on Penthesilea)
Simon Field – Editorial: Hearing:Seeing
Edward Bennett – The Films of Straub are not ‘Theoretical’ (on Straub/Huillet)
B. Ruby Rich – Kristina: For an Introduction (on Yvonne Rainer)
Simon Field – Editorial: Beginning … and Beginning Again
Rod Stoneman – Perspective Correction: Early Film to the Avant-Garde
Deke Dusinberre – See Real Images! (on Guy Sherwin, Steve Farrer, Lis Rhodes)
Ian Christie – Editorial: Myths of Total Cinema
Jean Epstein – The Senses 1 (b) (on photogénie)
Ian Christie & Malcolm Coad – Between Institutions: Interview with Raúl Ruiz
Simon Field – Editorial: Sighting Snow
Michael O’Pray – Framing Snow (on Michael Snow)
Simon Field – Editorial: The Troublesome Cases (on Derek Jarman and Borderline)
Michael O’Pray – Derek Jarman’s Cinema: Eros and Thanatos
Derek Jarman – P.P.P. in the Garden of Earthly Delights (unrealised film proposal)
Simon Field – Editorial: Animating the Fantastic
Roger Cardinal – Stirrings in the Dust (on visionary animation)
Jan Švankmajer – The Magic Ritual of Tactile Inauguration
Paul Hammond – In Quay Animation (on Brothers Quay)

Ian Christie

Editor’s Notes
Index of contents for Afterimage 1–13
Alphabetical list of contents by contributor for Afterimage 1–13
Credits for Afterimage 1–13

Illustrated throughout with images that appeared in the original magazine.

The Afterimage Reader
Edited by Mark Webber
The Visible Press, May 2022

Mark Webber is a film curator based in London, who has been responsible for major screening events or touring programmes hosted by institutions such as Tate Modern, LUX and ICA (London), Whitney Museum (New York), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Oberhausen Kurzfilmtage, IFFR Rotterdam and international festivals, museums and art centres. He was a programmer for the BFI London Film Festival from 2000-12, and is also the editor of Two Films by Owen Land, Film as Film: The Collected Writings of Gregory J. Markopoulos, Shoot Shoot Shoot: The First Decade of the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative 1966-76, Slow Writing: Thom Andersen on Cinema and co-editor of Flare Out: Aesthetics 1966–2016.

Simon Field is an independent film producer who has worked primarily with Apichatpong Weerasethakul. He has previously held posts as director of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, ICA Cinema, and Collective for Living Cinema. He has contributed to Art and Artists, Time Out, Monthly Film Bulletin and Sight & Sound, and was co-editor/publisher of Afterimage from 1970-87.

Ian Christie is a film historian, curator, broadcaster, and professor of film and media history at Birkbeck College, London. He has written extensively on early cinema, Eisenstein, Powell and Pressburger, and Scorsese. Under the pseudonym Guy L’Éclair, Christie was co-editor/publisher of Afterimage from 1978-87.

Excerpt from the Introduction

Harvard Film Archive season, 2024

Film Comment review

Cinemascope Review

Cineaste Review

Criterion Current

Sight & Sound Review

Contents of Afterimage issues 1–13 (coming soon)

Films Cited in The Afterimage Reader (coming soon)

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