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AAFF Recommends "Cinema Ann Arbor: How Campus Rebels Forged a Singular Film Culture" by Frank Uhle

July 7, 2023

The AAFF Team enthusiastically recommends Frank Uhle’s book Cinema Ann Arbor: How Campus Rebels Forged a Singular Film Culture, which was published recently by the Ann Arbor District Library’s Fifth Avenue Press and the University of Michigan Press.

A projectionist since the early 1980s, Uhle’s devotion to film was catalyzed when he joined one of the University of Michigan’s student film societies as an undergraduate, and he has produced a captivating historical record that includes the birth of AAFF and so much more!

Festival Director Leslie Raymond says of the book “[p]eek inside the robust legacy of student-powered cinema groups that enriched the cultural scene both on campus and off. This enthralling saga recounts the dynamic moxie, gutsy programming, lucrative operations, and many colorful characters that sustained Ann Arbor’s incredibly rich cinema culture for nearly a century.”

We are thrilled by the book’s early success with a standing-room-only turnout for the panel discussion Uhle moderated on the topic during the 61st AAFF in March (watch it here on our Vimeo page) and last month’s packed book events at Literati Bookstore and Book Beat. Of course, we suggest you buy and read the book as quickly as you can but if you also happen to be in California later this month then make your way to one of these stops on the book tour:

Sunday, July 16, 3pm

1100 Market St, San Diego

Tuesday, July 18, 7pm

3910 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles

Friday, July 21, 8pm

with Danny Plotnick, author of Super 8: An Illustrated History

567 Fifth Ave, Oakland

In addition to a presentation about his book, Uhle will be screening at each venue about an hour of Ann Arbor-connected experimental films including work by George Manupelli, Pat Oleszko, Jay Cassidy, Andrew Lugg, Dan Bruell, Mary Cybulski and John Tintori. The screenings will also include the rarely-seen filmed document of Ann Arbor's ONCE Group, ONCE Kittyhawk (1972 - Doug Rideout), which features Robert and Mary Ashley, George Manupelli, Joe and Anne Wehrer, Cynthia Liddell, Nick Bertoni, and Hugh Cohen. (See below for a gallery of select images from the films.)

For more information about the book and Frank’s book tour, please visit Cinema Ann Arbor. If you don’t own it already, then get yourself a copy and read about this astounding history of which AAFF has been a part since 1963!

Left to right: The first three color images are from Doug Rideout's 1972 film ONCE Kittyhawk; the next black-and-white image is Gerard Malanga and Henry Chapier from George Manupelli's 1967 film Gerard Malanga as the Baron Von Richthofen, and the final image is from Pat Oleszko's 1979 Footsi.

All images courtesy Frank Uhle


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