Canyon Cinema (Paperback)

The Life and Times of an Independent Film Distributor

By Scott MacDonald

University of California Press, 9780520250871, 480pp.

Publication Date: January 2, 2008

List Price: 36.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Bringing alive a remarkable moment in American cultural history, Scott MacDonald tells the colorful story of how a small, backyard organization in the San Francisco Bay Area emerged in the 1960s and evolved to become a major force in the development of independent cinema. Drawing from extensive conversations with men and women crucial to Canyon Cinema, from its newsletter Canyon Cinemanews, and from other key sources, MacDonald offers a lively chronicle of the life and times of this influential, idiosyncratic film exhibition and distribution collective. His book features many primary documents that are as engaging and relevant now as they were when originally published, including essays, poetry, experimental writing, and drawings.

About the Author

Scott MacDonald is author of the five volumes of the Critical Cinema series (UC Press), of The Garden in the Machine: A Field Guide to Independent Films about Place (UC Press), and of several other books on avant-garde film and on institutions that have kept avant-garde film alive. He is currently Visiting Professor of Film History at Hamilton College and at Harvard University.

Praise For Canyon Cinema: The Life and Times of an Independent Film Distributor

“Lovingly detailed history. Drawing from a wealth of primary materials . . . a compelling narrative of American avant-garde cinema. Wonderful in its particulars.”

— Max Goldberg

“A exemplary demonstration that scholarship can be both intelligent and fun to read.”

— Film Comment

“Fills a major gap in our knowledge of the history of avant-garde film.”

— Artforum