by Robert Haller
Intellect Books (US distributor University Of Chicago Press)


Flesh into Light by Robert Haller is a vividly written exploration of Amy Greenfield’s work. The book is a rhapsodic journey that takes us through a woman’s search for a contemporary poetics of the body as a motion picture art. With themes like  “ Advocating the duet of organism and technology,” Haller’s Flesh Into Light lucidly articulates how this dynamic language of the human body is part of a fundamental yet largely unexplored area of cinema, and that Greenfield’s representation of female identity through the primal body speaks to new feminism and is affecting freedom of speech on the internet.  A special section written by Greenfield gives her thoughts on the art of the nude as cinema, of directing such as Ricky Leacock and Dennis Hopper, of transforming  Sophocles’ Antigone into cutting-edge visual cinema, and more.

Robert Haller is an important figure in the avant-garde film field as administrator, writer and photographer. He has written/edited books and catalogues on Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Fritz Lang, Omar Kavur and more.  His photographs of avant-garde filmmakers have been published in the New York Times and exhibited at the Albright Knox gallery. He is the Director of Special Projects at Anthology Film Archives in New York and was the founder of the National Alliance Of Media Arts Centers.  He lectures on avant-garde film internationally.


For Greenfield the body, moving with and against, the close-up camera, can be the concrete image of inner human nature, an instrument for its expression, and a vessel containing images and actions that crystalize the meaning and mystery of experience: memory and movement, the past and the present moment.

An example of this in Tides – and in other later films – she reverses the flow of time (and the movement of the ocean), but gives the spectator no immediate notice of this, leaving to the viewer both discovery and an enhanced visual experience.

At their conclusion her films impart sense of ecstatic fulfillment – or death – but not defeat – as they take us, with her protagonists, to or beyond physical limits.”