BERT The most important modes of film practice, in my view, are art-house cinema and the avant-garde, both of which contrast with the classical Hollywood mode of film practice. While the latter is characterized by its commercial imperative, corporate hierarchies, and a high degree of specialization as well as a division of labor, the avant-garde is an "artisanal" or "personal" mode. Avant-garde films tend to be made by individuals or very small groups of collaborators, financed either by the filmmakers alone or in combination with private patronage and grants from arts institutions. Such films are usually distributed through film cooperatives and exhibited by film societies, museums, and universities. (Consequently, such films can only usually be seen in urban centers--and only in a handful of those with any regularity.) Significantly, this alternative system of production, distribution, and exhibition is not driven by profit. Avant-garde films rarely break even, let alone make a profit, through the markets of either the mass commodity or the luxury item. There is no market in the negatives of avant-garde films, and truly famous practitioners of avant-garde film have made their fame and fortune either through other activities (Andy Warhol) or through moving into the
The Journal of Aesthetic Education – University of Illinois Press
Published: Sep 29, 2011
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