Cover image for Film and the anarchist imagination
Film and the anarchist imagination
Porton, Richard.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Verso, 1999.
Physical Description:
vi, 314 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1995.9.A487 P67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Bearded bomb-throwers, self-indulgent nihilists, dangerous subversives--these characteristic clichés of anarchists in the popular imagination are often reproduced in the cinema. In Film and the Anarchist Imagination , the first comprehensive survey of anarchism in film, Richard Porton deconstructs such stereotypes while offering an authoritative account of films featuring anarchist characters and motifs.

From the early cinema of Griffith and René Clair, to the work of Godard, Lina Wertmüller, Lizzie Borden and Ken Loach, Porton analyzes portrayals of anarchism in film, presenting commentaries and critiques of such classics as Zéro de Conduite , Tout Va Bien , and Love and Anarchy . In addition, he provides an excellent guide to the complex traditions of anarchist thought, from Bakunin and Kropotkin to Emma Goldman and Murray Bookchin, disclosing a rich historical legacy that encompasses the Paris Commune, the Haymarket martyrs, the anarcho-syndicalists of the Spanish Civil War, as well as more familiar contemporary avatars like the Situationists and the enragés of May 1968.

Author Notes

Richard Porton is editor at Cineaste and has taught film studies at the College of Staten Island, Hunter College, Rutgers University, and New York University. He has written on film for a variety of publications including Cinema Scope , In These Times , and Moving Image Source . He is the author of Film and the Anarchist Imagination .

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Porton (cinema studies, Coll. of Staten Island) presents a study of how anarchy, as a political theory or belief, has been presented on the screen in feature films and documentaries. Readers with some prior knowledge of this political philosophy and the names associated with it will get the most out of the work. The majority of the films under consideration are American or European and were not made by anarchists. Porton examines film portrayals of anarchist heroes and martyrs such as Joe Hill, Sacco and Vanzetti, and Buenaventura Durutti and illustrates other anarchist topics by examining specific filmsÄZero for Conduct, If, and Jonas Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000 are used in the consideration of anarchist pedagogy. He also covers anarcho-feminism, the revolt against work, anarcho-syndicalism, anti-statist insurrections, and bohemia. Few of the films discussed earn Porton's whole-hearted approval. For large academic collections only.ÄMarianne Cawley, Charleston Cty. Lib., SC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.