As the inspiration for this book originates in the work of filmmakers,
my first debt of gratitude goes to those whose films I have written about,
and also to many film- and videomakers who do not appear here. My
goals may be critical and theoretical in this project, but they are vitally
dependent on the textual experiments of several generations of film-
makers, and my hope is that this book is of use in expanding the critical
discourse that supports alternative film practices.
In the preparation of this book, Ivone Margulies was absolutely in-
strumental. I cannot thank her enough for her meticulous and detailed
reading of the manuscript, for posing challenging questions, and for in-
sisting on a rigor that was vital in shaping an often unwieldy beast. A
number of additional people helped me at various stages of the writing,
including David James, Cheryl Simon, Bill Nichols, and Bill Wees. Most
of the material was first developed in the context of M.F.A. seminars
at Concordia University from
and I would like to thank
all the students who took part in those classes for their patient support
of my attempts to teach experimental ethnography while I was figuring
out what it was. Many of their insights have no doubt found their way
into this book. Invaluable research assistance was provided by Hong
Nguyen, Angela Fong, John Spezzacatena, and Jean Bruce. Thanks also
to Paul Litherland, who assisted me in the production and selection of
film stills.
Many individuals and institutions helped in the collection of stills:
Danielle Carter, Blaine Allen, Craig Baldwin, Jonas Mekas, Su Friedrich,
Leslie Thornton, Women Make Movies, the Library of Congress, Yama-
gita International Film Festival, Canadian Filmmakers Distribution
Center, Museum of Modern Art, Interama, Martin and Osa Johnson
Safari Museum, Walker Art Center, and the Andy Warhol Foundation.
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