For six decades Amos Vogel, author of the book Film as a Subversive Art, has played a key role in American avant-garde cinema, most significantly perhaps as an exhibitor/distributor. A Jewish refugee from Hitler, he settled in New York and founded Cinema 16, an underground film society which showcased short surreal and experimental films, science documentaries, independent and foreign language features. The first half of Cronin's film casts a sympathetic eye over Vogel's life, but it's in the latter half that it really snaps into focus, picking out his programming strategies and his thirst to reveal new ways of looking at the world. More clips from the likes of German science doc Looking at the World in Reverse would have been welcome.
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