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This book, the first full critical overview of the film avant-garde, ushers in a new approach—and in the process creates its own subject. While many books have studied particular aspects of the European film avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s, Moving Forward, Looking Back provides a much-needed summary of the theory and practice of the movement, while also emphasizing aspects of the period that have been overlooked. Arguing that a European perspective is the only way to understand the transnational movement, the book also pioneers a new approach to the alternative cinema network that sustained the avant-garde, paying particular attention to the emergence of film culture as visible in screening clubs, film festivals, and archives. It will be essential to anyone interested in the influential movement and the film culture it created.