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Anthology Film Archives evolved from roots and visions that go back to the early Sixties when Jonas Mekas the director of the Film-Makers Cinematheque a showcase for avant-garde films dreamed of establishing a permanent home where the growing number of new independentavant-garde films could be shown on a regular basis Anthology maintains that the art of film must be defined in terms of selected works which indicate its essence and its possibilities In addition to the Essential Cinema Repertory Anthology regularly presents new works and retrospectives of major independent filmmakers those included in the repertory and those that are not it premieres independent features documentary informational films and videotapes and provides a platform for a variety of groups working with alternative forms of cinema Although the primary commitment of Anthology is independents it presents national and thematic surveys of commercially or semi-commercially produced films that provide information on contemporary aesthetic movements in the cinema of other countries An exhibition of the new Soviet documentary cinema was presented in the Spring of 1989 followed by surveys of Philippine Czech Dutch and Spanish cinemas November 1989 January March1990 Andrew Sarris curated an auteurist survey American Narrative Film Its Roots and Its Flowers 1900-1990 with a focus on the thematic and stylistic contributions of the American narrative film to the art of cinema In all cases the emphasis is not on the box office Huge collections of filmic documents of life in America during the Fifties Sixties and Seventies and many avant-garde film classics would have been lost if they had they not been saved from deterioration or destruction by Anthologys film preservation program As a supplement to the films included and shown in the Essential Cinema Repertory Anthology Film Archives has established a film study collection of avantgarde independent films to serve the film student and film scholar Unlike the Essential Cinema Repertory where the inclusion of a film is under the
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