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Film and the Anarchist ImaginationExpanded Second Edition$
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Richard Porton

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043338

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043338.001.0001

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(p.229) Afterword
Film and the Anarchist Imagination

Richard Porton

University of Illinois Press

This afterword argues that despite fondness of many anarchist academics for popular culture, the most salient examples of twenty-first-century anarchist cinema and media have not originated from Hollywood or even from the increasingly conformist realm of so-called independent cinema. Although it is best to avoid facile dichotomies, there is clearly a widening gap within anarchist-inspired visual culture between “provisional” activist media and the avant-gardist tendency that still covertly believes in art as redemptive, even as it outwardly endorses an “anti-art” agenda. Moreover, it might not be too hyperbolic to claim that post-1999 anarchist film culture is less preoccupied with the schism between high and low culture than with dividing lines between collective, frequently anonymous, unsigned work and traditional auteur-driven cinema. To be sure, contradictions abound even in the most anti-authoritarian corners of the Internet where sites often feature both anonymous works that inspire activists, as well as films, both short and feature length, which are signed and reflect a specific directorial sensibility. What unites most of these films, though, is their widespread availability online.

Keywords:   anarchist cinema, anarchist media, visual culture, activist media, avant-garde, anarchist film culture

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