SCREENED EARLY DE PALMA FILMS AT NY'S CINEMA 16 FILM SOCIETY
The Hollywood Reporter reported today that "Amos Vogel, creator of the influential Manhattan avant garde film club Cinema 16 and co-founder of the New York Film Festival, died Tuesday in his apartment off Washington Square Park. He was 91." At Cinema 16, Vogel, who has been called the ultimate cinephile, juxtaposed films the way filmmakers such as Eisenstein collided images. In the documentary named after his seminal book, Film As A Subversive Art (which can be viewed here), Vogel explained, "When I showed five or six films on the Cinema 16 program, they were always selected from the point of view how they would collide with each other in the minds of the audience. On one program there would always be an abstract film, a scientific film, an avant-garde film and a political documentary, because my intention at all times was to subvert audience expectations by showing such diverse and different films on one and the same program." Cinema 16 was founded in 1947 by Vogel and his wife, Marcia.
In the 2005 book A Critical Cinema 4: Interviews with Independent Filmmakers, Jim McBride (David Holzman's Diary) was asked by author Scott MacDonald if he used to go to Cinema 16. "I was a member for a couple of years, I think," said McBride. "When I was at NYU, Brian De Palma, who I knew from the neighborhood, was making these little 16mm movies and getting them shown at Cinema 16, which I thought was kind of amazing. I remember going to see Woton's Wake . We did see some interesting stuff at Cinema 16. Certainly Maya Deren, but I'm not sure what else. In those days, anything you could see was a plus."
The Hollywood Reporter article quotes Martin Scorsese: "If you’re looking for the origins of film culture in America, look no further than Amos Vogel. Amos opened the doors to every possibility in film viewing, film exhibiton, film curating and film appreciation. He was also unfailingly generous, encouraging and supportive of so many young filmmakers, including me when I was just starting to make my first pictures. No doubt about it — the man was a giant." In 1963, Vogel founded the New York Film Festival with Richard Roud.