by Frank Uhle
University of Michigan Press, 2023
Cloth: 978-0-472-13347-5 | eISBN: 978-0-472-22138-7

Ann Arbor, long known for its political and cultural activism, has an equally compelling history of engagement with film and media. In their quest to show art and independent films and in their efforts to raise money in the name of artistic freedom, local and campus societies pushed the boundaries of conformity. Delving into almost one hundred years of rarely glimpsed history, Cinema Ann Arbor melds interviews, deep archival research, and over four hundred images into a vivid history of film in one extraordinary town. These stories, told with urgency and exquisite detail, are firsthand accounts of the unforgettable people who created Ann Arbor’s magnificent twentieth-century film scene.

Featuring interviews with filmmaker Ken Burns, Oscar-nominated editor Jay Cassidy, producer John Sloss, and more, this masterpiece provides insights into how a Midwestern college town developed a robust underground art film community that inspired those across the country. Variety’s Owen Glieberman says, “Frank Uhle has captured the moment when cinema became, for a new generation, a kind of religion, with its own rituals and sacred texts and a spirit of exploratory mystery that has all but vanished from the culture.”

This is a must-have book for cinema and media aficionados, film archivists, and anyone interested in the cultural history of Ann Arbor.