Flesh and Excess: On Underground Film by Jack Sargeant
Trade Paperback – Amok Press – 2015 – 218 pages
Jack Sargeant’s first new book dedicated to underground film since 1999 sees the cult author return to the physical, body-focused and transgressive films that first seduced him. With Flesh & Excess: On Underground Film, the focus is now divided between the historical, theoretical and philosophical. Starting with an exploration of the return to the shock of the body in underground film in the 1980s and the growth of underground film in the ’90s, he explores and defines an underground cinema that remains radical and contemporary, informing subcultures and independent cinema today. Primarily focusing on a handful of key works by two award-winning underground filmmakers (Usama Alshaibi and Aryan Kaganof), Sargeant examines the the desire – even the need – for a shocking bodily representations and interventions. Punctuating his writing with philosophical analysis, explorations of areas as diverse as industrial culture, surrealism, butoh dance, fine art and medical fetishism, the book challenges the reader to examine the very nature of pleasure, of viewing and of experiencing cinema. Comprehensively illustrated throughout.