The History Of Independent Cinema

In his characteristically breezy and conversational tone, Phil Hall deftly covers a lot of territory in his ambitious The History of Independent Cinema. The book, Hall’s third on film, reads less like a stodgy college film history class and more like a late-night rap from a visiting lecturer at the local arthouse cinema.

To cover the entire history of independent cinema is probably a nigh impossible task, so rather than present a strict timeline of filmmaking events, Hall structures his chapters around significant movements within the overall history. Hall begins literally with the birth of cinema and documents the machinations of Thomas Edison to keep a tight reign over his invention and the machinations of Carl Laemmle and Adolph Zukor to develop an end run around him.

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