Elder examines how artists such as Brakhage, Artaud, Schneemann, Cohen and others have tried to recognize and to convey primordial forms of experiences. He argues that the attempt to convey these primordial modes of awareness demands a different conception of artistic meaning from any of those that currently dominate contemporary critical discussion. By reworking theories and speech in highly original ways, Elder formulates this new conception. His remarks on the gaps in contemporary critical practices will likely become the focus of much debate.
About the author
R. Bruce Elder is a filmmaker, critic, and teacher (and former Program Director) in the Graduate Program in Communication and Culture at Ryerson University. His film work has been screened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Millennium Film Workshop, Berlin’s Kino Arsenal, Paris’ Centre Pompidou, the San Francisco Cinematheque, Atlanta’s High Museum, Los Angeles’ Film Forum, Stadtfilmmuseum München, and Hamburg’s Kino Metropolis. Retrospectives of his work have been presented by Anthology Film Archives (NY), the Art Gallery of Ontario, Cinématheque Québecoise, Il Festival Senzatitolo (Trento), Images Film and Video Festival (Toronto). Cinematheque Ontario has said this about him: “R. Bruce Elder is not only one of Canada’s foremost experimental filmmakers, he’s one of our greatest artists, thinkers, critics, and filmmakers, period.” Harmony & Dissent, his previous book on film and avant-garde art movements, was awarded the Robert Motherwell Book Prize, shortlisted for the Raymond Kilbansky Prize, and named a Choice Outstanding Academic Book for 2010. His next book entitled DADA, Surrealism, and the Cinematic Effect is forthcoming from WLU Press.
''Bruce Elder's writing constitutes the greatest collection of wisdom on poetic cinema of any living human. Furthermore, his knowledge is so a propos to all the arts that it is a paradigm of aesthetics in general.''
''The scope of this volume is truly astonishing.''
M. Wayne Cunningham
''Elder is undoubtedly one of the most stimulating thinkers I have ever encountered'' (translated from the Italian).
''... each of the book's principal parts is exemplary of the kind of criticism film studies needs and should have a great deal more of.''
<I>University of Toronto Quarterly</I>
''A Body of Vison is filled with vividly detailed readings of films that map the confused and exhilarating intersections of the body and the symbolic processes that surround and issue from it. Elder's focus is tight, his resistance to the limits of realist representation powerful and convincing.''
Point of View
Other titles by R. Bruce Elder
Cubism and Futurism
Spiritual Machines and the Cinematic Effect
DADA, Surrealism, and the Cinematic Effect
The Films of Stan Brakhage in the American Tradition of Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and Charles Olson
Harmony and Dissent
Film and Avant-garde Art Movements in the Early Twentieth Century
Body in Film, The
Image and Identity
Reflections on Canadian Film and Culture