Skip to main content


UK, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Documentaries)

Director: Paul Cronin

Film as a Subversive Art: Amos Vogel and Cinema 16 UK

The story of an unsung hero of world cinema, Film as a Subversive Art is an affectionate profile of film curator and historian Amos Vogel and the influential film society he co-founded, Cinema 16.

Austrian-born Vogel moved to New York in 1938, stimulated by the vibrant visual arts community. Nine years later, together with his wife, Marcia, he founded Cinema 16, a pioneering film club aimed at audiences thirsty for work 'That cannot be seen elsewhere'. Equally passionate for Hollywood classics as for experimental works, the club's busy screening schedule included films from such directors as Chaplin, Kurosawa, Brackhage, Anger and Polanski.

At times screening to over 3,000 eager cinephiles a week, Vogel's legacy has left an indelible mark on cinema's landscape. As Jonas Mekas, one of underground cinema's godfathers remarks, 'Cinema 16 affected my whole life; I consider it one of my universities'.

Amassing a compilation of archival footage, new interviews with the now 82-year-old Vogel as well as historian Scott MacDonald, and excerpts from a number of films championed by Cinema 16, Film as a Subversive Art is a treat for lovers of cinema.

D/S Paul Cronin WS Sticking Place Films TD Video/Col/2003/56mins

Paul Cronin was born in London, UK in 1972. Films include: Look Out Haskell, It's Real: The Making of Medium Cool (2001).

See also...

Sargy Mann

An artist for all of his adult life, Sargy Mann accepts his total loss of vision late in life with admirable good grace and sets about readying a canvas for his first and, he presumes, last, ?blind ... More »


“The school seemed to be a metaphor for what's wrong with boys and young men in society. I'm sure that's why the impact of going to that school was so strong for me.” - filmmaker Kim Longinotto ... More »


What could be more punk than a bunch of old folk ripping into The Ramones' ‘I Wanna Be Sedated'?In the hands of a senior citizens choir with an average age of 81, The Clash's ‘Should I Stay or ... More »


... ... From Errol Morris, the director of the daz­zling The Thin Blue Line, comes this won­drous and wonder-filled joumey into the life and work of Professor Stephen Hawking, the ... More »


Challenging British director Derek Jarman's final major work has been compared in visual execution to Warhol's Sleep and Empire State. Where it outstrips them both is in the meticulously crafted and ... More »

Negative Space

In 1971, film critic Manny Farber published a book called Negative Space, in which he wrote: "One of the finest moments in 1940s film is no longer than a blink: Bogart, as he crosses the street from ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director