Discovering Amos Vogel‘s Film as a Subversive Art (1974) was a blast and leafing through the book today still is a thrill (see for example a still I posted on my new NSFW tumblr blog). The book is a milestone in the history of subversion.
Now online is Film as a Subversive Art: Amos Vogel and Cinema 16 (UK, 2003) , a documentary about Amos Vogel (1921 – 2012) and the film society Cinema 16.
I can’t remember exactly how but I managed to stumble on a complete version of the German short film Besonders wertvoll.
On Youtube, of all places:
Besonders wertvoll (1968, English: Of Special Merit) is a short subject directed by Hellmuth Costard and produced by Petra Nettelbeck.
The film, now almost fifty years old, criticized the new German Film Funding Act of 1967 by way of a talking phallus representing German politician Hans Toussaint, co-sponsor of the new film funding law. The title Besonders wertvoll translates as ‘of particular merit’ (as in cultural significance vs. ‘utterly without redeeming social importance‘) and is an allusion to the highest film rating given by Deutsche Film- und Medienbewertung.
Love misquotations? Here’s a good one. This film is famous for originating “Only the perverse fantasy can still save us,” (misattributed to Goethe), which is shown at the end of the film credits.
For those of you interested in weird films, here is a Youtube playlist of films featured in Amos Vogel’s Film as a Subversive Art (1974)
The film is a milestone in the history of the sexual revolution in Germany.