Flesh and Excess: On Underground Film

Jack Sargeant

Jack Sargeant's first new book dedicated to Underground Film since 1999 sees the cult author return to the physical, body-focused and transgressive films that first seduced him. With Flesh & Excess: On Underground Film, the focus is now divided between the historical, theoretical and philosophical. Starting with an exploration of the return to the shock of the body in underground film in the 1980s and the growth of underground film in the '90s, he explores and defines an underground cinema that remains radical and contemporary, informing subcultures and independent cinema today. Primarily focusing on a handful of key works by two award-winning underground filmmakers (Usama Alshaibi and Aryan Kaganof), Sargeant examines the the desire - even the need - for a shocking bodily representations and interventions. Punctuating his writing with philosophical analysis, explorations of areas as diverse as industrial culture, surrealism, butoh dance, fine art and medical fetishism, the book challenges the reader to examine the very nature of pleasure, of viewing and of experiencing cinema. Comprehensively illustrated throughout.
Available February 2016
Film /Filmmaking
$ 19.95/Paper
256 Pages
90 photo illustrations
6 x 9 


"Flesh and Excess is a work of passionate scholarship. More than a history of transgressive cinema, Sargeant examines the persistence of underground art across generations, and the particular appeal of cinema that enfolds physical pleasures and horrors. It's a clear-eyed and fascinating book." — Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick and Where Art Belongs

"At last! This is now the definitive work on underground film." — Jon Reiss, filmmaker and author of Think Outside the Box Office 


About Jack Sargeant

Jack Sargeant’s most recent book is Against Control, previous titles include Deathtripping: The Extreme Underground and Naked Lens: Beat Cinema. His writings on film and culture have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, and DVD releases, including the Throbbing Gristle DVD box set. He appeared as an interviewee in the documentaries Blank City, The Advocate For Fagdom and Llik Your Idols, amongst others. He has lectured on underground film, beat culture, William Burroughs and many other topics across the world. Jack is currently program director for the Revelation Film Festival.

Jack Sargeant