Emile de Antonio

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Emile de Antonio (born 1919 in Scranton , Pennsylvania , † December 16, 1989 in Manhattan , New York ) was an American director and producer of documentaries . De Antonio saw his films as something of a Cold War story .


Emile de Antonio was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1919. He visited with John F. Kennedy , the Harvard University and turned later a film about Kennedy's assassination, Rush to Judgment . After his military service during the Second World War , de Antonio had contacts to the art scene, especially to pop artists such as Jasper Johns , Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol , in whose film Drink de Antonio appears. De Antonio made this art scene the subject of his documentary Painters Painting (1972).

In 1959, de Antonio founded G-String Productions to loan Robert Frank's Beat Generation film Pull My Daisy . At this time, de Antonio discovered filmmaking for himself. His first film, Point of Order , a compilation film he made in 1964, is about Joseph McCarthy and the army hearings that McCarthy ran. De Antonio assumed 188 hours of material and cut a film that lasts 97 minutes.

De Antonio, who saw himself as a Marxist , continued to make films that sparked controversy. Most of his films criticized various aspects of American culture. In the Year of the Pig (1968) became one of the most famous anti- Vietnam War films . He later made the documentary Underground (1976) about a typical product of the political 1960s, the Weather Underground . He thought their leadership was political idiots , but was impressed by their charisma. Because of his political beliefs and activities, the FBI opened a 10,000-page file on him. The reading of the shared file was an opportunity last for de Antonio's film Mr. Hoover and I .

Bill Nichols ' fundamental study of the documentary Representing Reality is dedicated to the memory of de Antonio and Joris Ivens .

Filmography (selection)

  • 1964: Point of Order
  • 1967: Rush to Judgment
  • 1968: America Is Hard to See
  • 1968: In the Year of the Pig
  • 1971: Milhouse: A White Comedy - via Richard Nixon
  • 1972: Painters Painting
  • 1975: McCarthy: Death of a Witch Hunter
  • 1976: Underground
  • 1982: In the King of Prussia
  • 1989: Mr. Hoover and I


  • Douglas Kellner, Dan Streible (Ed.): Emile de Antonio. A reader . Foreword by Haskell Wexler . University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis MN 2000, ISBN 0-8166-3363-0 , ( Visible evidence 8).
  • Randolph Lewis: Emile de Antonio. Radical Filmmaker in Cold War America . University of Wisconsin Press, Madison WI et al. 2000, ISBN 0-299-16910-3 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. C. Gerald Fraser: Emile de Antonio Is Dead at 70; Maker of Political Documentaries (Obituary, New York Times, December 20, 1989)