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8th DMZ Docs(2016)

I AM DOCU



Fully Awake: Black Mountain College

Cathryn Davis Zommer, Neeley Dawson

  • USA
  • 2008
  • 60min
  • DCP
  • color/black and white

Asian Premiere

Synopsis

Fully Awake: Black Mountain College is a documentary film about the experimental college based in North Carolina from 1933 to 1957, and how its progressive pedagogy influenced many of America’s most important twentieth-century artists.

Review

Fully Awake: Black Mountain College

Fully Awake: Black Mountain College is acknowledged as the best documentary about Black Mountain College, a legendary art school in eastern U.S.(North Carolina) which opened in 1933 and closed in 1957.

Jon Andrew Rice, Theodore Dreier, Frederick Georgia, and Ralph Lounsbury, who were stripped of their positions as professors at Rollins College joined forces and founded Black Mountain College, which though small, was an experimental school that strived to provide innovative art education according to the philosophy of John Dewey. Even with its short history of 24 years, this school made a significant contribution to the development of American modern art. Black Mountain College embraced European progressive artists who migrated to North America to escape from the Nazis during WWII and grew rapidly as the breeding ground for advanced art education.

The most important figures were the couple Josef Albers and Anni Albers who brought the new ideas of Germany’s Bauhaus to Black Mountain College. (Walter Gropius, the founder of Bauhaus, also taught at this school.) In the process of America’s modern art world establishing its identity postwar, the school served as the base for American avant-garde artists such as John Cage, Buckminster Fuller, Merce Cunningham, and Franz Kline. The list of guest instructors was also impressive. It included the likes of scientist Albert Einstein and Clement Greenberg, the most noted contemporary art critic. (Many graduates went on to become successful writers, but the most successful of all would probably be Robert Rauschenberg who was the first American to receive the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale.)

This documentary aids greatly in understanding how modern artists in eastern U.S. became the losers and how the ideals that spurred them on were presented and reinforced through what educational practices in what setting. Strongly recommended for those who dream of improving/renovating today’s nonsense art education that repeatedly idles. [Im Geun-jun a.k.a Lee Chung-woo]

Director

  • Cathryn Davis Zommer

    Fully Awake: Black Mountain College (2008)

  • Neeley Dawson

    Fully Awake: Black Mountain College (2008)

Credit

  • ProducerMay Su
  • Cinematography Mahua Shin Hua Feng
  • Editor Min Sheng Kao

Contribution / World Sales

Contribution / World Sales  Documentary Educational resources

E-mail  order@der.org​