Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Emile Francisco de Antonio





Emile Francisco de Antonio (May 14, 1919 -- December 16, 1989) was an American director and producer of documentary films, usually detailing political or social events circa 1960s--1980s. He has been referred to by scholars and critics alike, and arguably remains, "...the most important political filmmaker in the United States during the Cold War."

Emile is quite buttoned down but at the end of the interview he wells up a bit and tells the interviewers he feels he's among friends. He died a couple of weeks later.

de Antonio was born in 1919 in in the coal-mining town of Scranton, Pennsylvania. His father, Emilio de Antonio, an Italian immigrant, fostered the lifelong interests of Antonio by passing on his own love for philosophy, classical literature, history and the arts. Although his intelligence allowed him the privilege of attended Harvard University alongside future-president John F. Kennedy, he was also familiar with the working class experience, making his living at various points in his life as a peddler, a book editor, and the captain of a river barge (among other duties).

After serving in the military during World War II as a bomber pilot, de Antonio returned to the United States where he frequented the art crowd, often associating with such Pop artists as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol, in whose film Drink de Antonio appears. Warhol was famously quoted praising de Antonio with the words, "Everything I learned about painting, I learned from De."

The book Necessary Illusions (1989) by Noam Chomsky and the documentary Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992) by Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick are dedicated to Emile de Antonio.

Filmography Point of Order (1964) McCarthy: Death of a Witch Hunter (1964) Rush to Judgment (1967) America Is Hard to See (1968) In the Year of the Pig (1968) Charge and Countercharge (1969) Millhouse: A White Comedy (1971) Painters Painting (1972) Underground (1976) In The King of Prussia (1982) Mr. Hoover and I (1989)