Amos Vogel was best known for his bestselling book Film as a Subversive Art (1974). He also founded Cinema 16 (1947–1963) which supplied New York with screenings of films that challenged conventional form and content, including many documentaries.
In an interview with Scott MacDonald, Vogel recalled:
“One film that was a shattering experience for me, and led me in the direction I later took, was Night Mail, the British documentary by Basil Wright. It showed me that one can make a film about a so-called “uninteresting,” seemingly unimportant subject-the British Post Office-and create a beautiful work of art, something that moved people, that moved me certainly, and gave me new insights”
Paul Cronin’s documentary Film as a subversive art: Amos Vogel and Cinema 16 (2003) can be watched in full here: