Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 7:30pm
Anthony McCall and Andrew Tyndall's Argument
155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn
Anthony McCall and Andrew Tyndall, HD restoration of 16mm film, 1978, 84 mins
Argument has been described by its makers as “a film of intervention.” Partially inspired by Godard and Gorin’s Letter to Jane, it is an essay film built around images of men’s fashion ads from an issue of the New York Times Magazine, with text and narration that offer a variety of critiques of the independent filmmaking of its time. Most centrally, it raises the question of how an effective form of political cinema could emerge at a moment when filmmakers were divided between two seemingly incommensurate tendencies: on one hand, the desire to promote the views of the left to as wide an audience as possible through the vehicle of mass-produced, Hollywood-style narratives; and on the other, the avant-gardist insistence that a truly radical practice must reject conventional form in favor of a deeper investigation of both perception and representation.
To this end, early screenings of Argument in London and New York were held workshop-style, with select groups of audience members chosen from the local communities of filmmakers and artists. Every attendee was given a 25-page publication prior to the event, with notes on McCall and Tyndall’s own working statements for the film; the screenings were each followed by a discussion among the members of the audience and the filmmakers.
“Filmmakers, critics and audiences have reached an impasse in the past few years over the questions of how to develop a radical film practice and what constitutes a political cinema,” the invitation to Argument’s screening at The Collective for Living Cinema read. “The film Argument...has been made in order to provide a text so that this question can be examined and articulated more clearly. The film has been made to engage those very problems that filmmakers are confronting economically, aesthetically, theoretically and politically. Because of these concerns the purpose of the film is not merely to be screened and seen, but rather to provide a context out of which a discourse can be created. The filmmakers of Argument made the film to be seen by an audience of their peers, an audience which is no less privileged, committed or knowledgeable about the issues to be discussed than the filmmakers themselves. The film was designed to be shown in a seminar/workshop situation, in which the film would be no more than an element in a larger ‘argument.’”
Tonight’s screening will be followed by a discussion with McCall and Tyndall about Argument.
A limited number of copies of LUX’s reprint of the original Argument publication will be available at the event.
Tickets - $7, available at door.
Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 7pm.