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P. Adams Sitney


In 1974, P. Adams Sitney wrote Visionary Film, which went on to become the foundational textbook on American avant-garde filmmaking, twice revised and much used in courses on the subject throughout the world. This groundbreaking work offered (and still offers) a uniquely comprehen- sive perspective on the aesthetics of post–World War II cinema, tapping into a literary poetics of film and providing a much-needed contextualiza- tion of experimentalism in the United States. Visionary Film directed new energy toward the avant-garde movement, which Sitney traced to American Romanticism—its jubilance, transcendental lift and heft.


Its publication was a highlight in his early career. Since then, Sitney, cur- rently a professor of visual arts at Princeton University, has been lauded as one of the most influential chroniclers of, and ambassadors for, experi- mental film in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He was a cofounder (with Jonas Mekas) of the venerable Anthology Film Archives in New York City, a fixture at New York University’s doctoral program in the Cinema Studies Department, a regular contributor to Artforum, and a major critical leader and intellectual supporter of the New American Cinema movement that peaked in the 1970s. He has published numerous books, including his most recent, Eyes Upside Down, which provides a full treatment of the later films of Stan Brakhage. University of Chicago historian Tom Gunning has called Sitney “not only the preeminent historian of the American avant-garde film, but one of the finest critics and theorists of the cinematic image and form working today.” P. Adams Sitney was married to the late activist/filmmaker Marjorie Keller.


—ELIZABETH HENRY Sponsored by


Following the presentation of the 2010 Stan Brakhage Vision Award, Mr. Sitney will introduce a package of short avant- garde works by Keller, Brakhage and Marie Menken.


Special thanks to


31


STAN BRAKHAGE VISION AWARD


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