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Jack Sargeant

Related: road movie - transgression - film criticism - Creation Books

Deathtripping: An Illustrated History of the Cinema of Transgression (1995) - Jack Sargeant
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New York City's Lower East Side has always been a cheap, low-rent space, a natural zone for artists, filmmakers and musicians surviving on their wits while trying to create new work. In the late Seventies and early Eighties, following the punk explosion and the election of Ronald Reagan with his New Right agenda, the downtown underground film scene exploded. Taking their inspiration from the extreme and brutal noise/jazz/post-punk No Wave music scene, a variety of filmmakers, photographers, performers, actors, and artists began to explore new, direct and confrontational modes of cinematic expression.

These filmmakers - including Richard Kern, Beth B, Nick Zedd, and Kembra Pfahler - produced movies that were influenced by both the aesthetic extremes of the exploitation movies playing in the sleazy grind house cinemas on 42nd Street, and the vicious extremities of daily existence: drugs, sexual brutality, poverty, and nihilism.

Although their individual styles and concerns differed widely, these filmmakers shared a desire to vent their scream on celluloid. Whilst the films sought to break with the formalism of the academic, structuralist avant-garde, the work these filmmakers produced revealed the influence of such diverse fringe filmmakers as Jack Smith, Otto Mühl, Luis Buñuel, Russ Meyer and John Waters, directors with whom they shared a confrontational aesthetic if not an immediately recognisable style. --No Wave: No Hope: Downtown New York Filmmaking 1979-1994, Jack Sargeant via http://www.jacktext.net/index.php?video

Tokyo Sex Underground (2001) - Romain Slocombe, Jack Sargeant
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Those who purchased TOKYO SEX UNDERGROUND by Romain Slocombe probably expected a titillating photo expose of the raunchy side of Tokyo at night. The majority of the reviewers listed above were clearly disappointed by what was admittedly a grainy set of pictures of women who seemed unwilling or unhappy about being included. The reviewer for Amazon.Com called this book 'stunning.' Stunning is not the right word although I saw a running theme that the other reviewers may have overlooked. What I did see was not porn although some of the women were porn actresses. The collective image that built over over the course of the pictures was one of sadness and distress. The smiling colorful face of the model on the front cover was obviously a marketing ploy, and I realized that even before I bought it. What interested me was a call for help that I could sense from nearly each woman. The harsh nightlife of Tokyo sex women can not be materially different from women employed in any other sex capital of the world. The stereotyped image of prostitutes as glamorous comes mostly from Hollywood sanitized versions of celluloid hookers like Julia Roberts. The women in this book truly were pretty women, but they were sadfaced women too. The scarcity of accompanying text accentuated rather than hid this subtext of women caught in forces beyond their ken. It is not likely that any reader seeking arousal will find such feelings here. What he might find instead is the more sobering realization that the sex industry is shiny only on the exterior, and even then the grim faces of the women pictured give the lie to that canard as well.--martin asiner for amazon.com


Jack Sargeant (March 12, 1968) is the author of several books on underground film, including: Deathtripping: The Cinema of Transgression, about Cinema of Transgression filmmakers such as Richard Kern and Nick Zedd, Naked Lens: Beat Cinema, and Cinema Contra Cinema, a collection of essays on alternative film. He is the editor of the journal Suture, and co-editor with Stephanie Watson of Lost Highways: An Illustrated History of the Road Movie. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Sargeant [Jan 2007]


Jack Sargeant is a writer, curator and lecturer. An expert in underground film and subculture, his previous publications include Lost Highways: An Illustrated History of Road Movies , Deathtripping: The Cinema of Transgression . Sargeant is a regular contributor to numerous journals and magazines and is film editor of Sleazenation magazine. As a curator he has programmed screenings for such venues as the ICA, London; the MOMA, New York; and has been a guest-curator at the Brisbane International Film Festival, Australia and the Chicago and New York Underground Film Festivals. Sargeant lectures at the London Institute, has just completed a true crime book for Virgin, and lives in Brighton, England. Jack's essay on road rage appears in Autopia: Cars & Culture, ed Peter Wollen & Joe Kerr, published by Reaktion Books, November 2002, alongside essays by Al Rees, Michael Bracewell, Roland Barthes, and others.

More books

  • Guns, Death, Terror : An Illustrated History of International Terrorism - Jack Sargeant [Amazon US]
    Looking back to the first high-profile plane hijackings, car bombings, kidnappings and assassinations of the 1960s and 1970s, this book is the first single volume to explore and contextualise the roots of modern terrorism. From the Baader-Meinhof gang of Germany, to the Red Army in Japan, the SLA and the Black Panthers of North America, Guns Death Terror covers all these groups and is illustrated with rare photographs and original terror manifestos, making it a timely and essential study of international terrorism.

  • Lost Highways: An Illustrated History of Road Movies by Jack Sargeant (Editor), Stephanie Watson (Editor), Stephen Watson [Amazon US]
    The road movie: a complex cinematic journey that incorporates mythic themes of questing and searching, the need for being, for love, for a home and for a promise of a different future, and yet also serves as a map of current cultural desires, dreams, and fears.

    Lost Highways explores the history of the road movie through a series of detailed essays on key films within the genre. Through these comprehensive and absorbing studies a clear and concise post-modern picture of the road movie emerges, tracing hitherto neglected intersections with other genres such as the western, film noir, horror and even science fiction.

    From "The Wizard of Oz" to "Crash", "Apocalypse Now" to "Vanishing Point", "The Wild Bunch" to "Easy Rider", Lost Highways is the definitive illustrated guide to a diverse body of film which holds at its nucleus the quintessential cinematic/ cultural interchange of modern times. Deathtripping is an illustrated history, account and critique of the "Cinema of Transgression", providing a long-overdue and comprehensive documentation of this essential modern sub-cultural movement. Includes:
    * A brief history of underground/ trash cinema
    * Seminal influences such as Andy Warhol, Jack Smith, George and Mike Kuchar
    * Interviews with key film-makers, such as Richard Kern, Nick Zedd, Cassandra Start, Beth B, Tommy Turner, plus associates such as Joe Coleman, Lydia Lunch and Lung Leg.
    * Notes and essays on transgressive cinema, philosophy of transgression, manifestos.
    * Film index, bibliography
    Heavily illustrated with rare and sometimes disturbing photographs, Deathtripping is a unique guide to a style of film-making whose impact and influence can no longer be ignored. --amazon.com editorial

  • Naked Lens: Beat Cinema (Creation Cinema Collection, 7) - Jack Sargeant [Amazon US]
    The highly influential writings of the original circle of Beat generation authors have been widely studied, but motion pictures emerging from the Beat movement have been largely neglected. Film journalist Sargeant (Lost Highways: Road Movies), an authority on underground movies, fills that void with this articulate and entertaining cinema history. Starting with a detailed synopsis and analysis of Pull My Daisy (1958), a film written and narrated by Jack Kerouac, and ranging through subsequent underground efforts, Sargeant shows that the nonconformist Beat attitudes of social disillusion and rebellion against convention are especially conducive to visual expression in alternative film. Also, several lively interviews, most notably with Allen Ginsberg and Jonas Mekas, brim with vivid digressions and flashes of insight about cinema and American culture. The original 1997 British edition, upon which this expands, was largely overlooked, likely owing to the lurid nature of other titles in the publisher's cinema series, such as Eros in Hell: Sex, Blood, and Madness in Japanese Cinema. However, for admirably examining the emerging genre of a Beat-related underground cinema, the present work is essential for cinema collections. Recommended for academic libraries. Richard W. Grefrath, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno, Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc., amazon.com

  • Suture: The Arts Journal Jack Sargeant (Editor), Lydia Lunch (Illustrator), Joe Coleman (Illustrator) [Amazon US]
    Zine of the Month: This new arts journal edited by mondo fetishist and splattercore archivist Jack Sargeant is published by Creation with the aim of documenting the taboo areas of fin-de-siecle culture...The result is a kind of pervo-deviant tribute to the spirit of Georges Bataille. --I-D Magazine

    A collection of illustrated essays on and by some of the most highly acclaimed figures in the global underground today. Suture documents radical artists, filmmakers, and writers working at the fringes of contemporary culture, including: Lydia Lunch, Joe Coleman, Romain Slocombe, Suehiro Maruo, John Hilcoat, James Havoc, Trevor Brown, Dame Darcy, Mark Hejnar. --Book Description

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