Academic Films for the Classroom
About the Book
Exploring a realm of film often dismissed as campy or contrived, this book traces the history of classroom educational films from the silent era through the 1980s, when film finally began to lose ground to video-based and digital media. It profiles 35 individual academic filmmakers who played a role in bringing these roughly 100,000 16mm films to classrooms across North America, paying particular attention to auteur John Barnes and his largely neglected body of work. Other topics include the production companies contributing to the growth and development of the academic film genre; the complex history of post-Sputnik, federally-funded educational initiatives which influenced the growth of the academic film genre; and the denouement of the genre in classrooms and its resurgence on the Internet.
About the Author(s)
Geoff Alexander has authored two books on cinema and has written on musical subjects ranging from jazz history to flamenco. He is the founder and director of the Academic Film Archive of North America, in San Jose, California, the first archive solely dedicated to the history, preservation, and scholarship of the classroom educational film.
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: 76 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
Table of Contents
Foreword by Rick Prelinger 1
List of Abbreviations 11
1. The Formative Years of Educational Film: 1900–1960 13
2. A Cold War Funds a Hot Medium: The Progressive Era, 1961–1985 38
3. Writing a New Cookbook: How Academic Films Were Funded, Made, Bought, and Sold in the Progressive Era 47
4. The Companies That Made the Films and the People Behind Them 62
5. Immortal Longings: The Life and Films of John Barnes 139
6. Profiles of 34 Significant Academic Filmmakers 157
7. Final Takes: The Denouement of the Academic Film in Classrooms and Its Resurgence on the Internet 194
Appendix A: 36 Films in This Book Currently Available for Free Viewing Online 201
Appendix B: Milestones in Academic Film 204
Appendix C: Requiem 206
Chapter Notes 209
Book Reviews & Awards
“Alexander’s book is a highly readable paean to the men and women behind these academic films…Alexander’s compelling narrative and anecdotal style make it hard to put the book down”—The Moving Image.