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  • III. The Association for the Advancement of Cinematic Creative Maladjustment:A Manifesto1
  • Cauleen Smith (bio)

FRIENDS, I alert you: Thismanifesto is a gasconade anon-violent word-grenadea plushy feral tiradea bombastic love parade.So, please, walk with me.Bang your drum.Blow your horn.Load your camera.Let us promenade.

-Kelly Gabron
The third day of January on our two-thousand-twelfth lap around the Sun.


"There are certain technical words within every academic discipline that soon become stereotypes and clichés. Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word in modern psychology. It is the word "maladjusted." … I say to you, my friends … there are certain things in our nation and in the world which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all men of good-will will be maladjusted.

I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to segregation and discrimination.

I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry.

I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few.

I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, to self-defeating effects of physical violence.


But in a day when Sputniks and explorers are dashing through outer space and guided ballistic missiles are carving highways of death through the [End Page 246] stratosphere, no nation can win a war. It is no longer the choice between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence. In other words, I'm about convinced now that there is need for a new organization in our world:

The International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment —men and women who will be as maladjusted as the prophet Amos. Who in the midst of the injustices of his day could cry out in words that echo across the centuries, "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." … Through such maladjustment, I believe that we will be able to emerge from the bleak and desolate midnight of man's inhumanity to man into the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice. My faith is that somehow this problem will be solved."

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.2


The Pronouncements

  1. 1. The Maladjusteds say: Images are what we create, but language and its potential for resistance against the over-determination of identity, perception, and experience determines the creation of images. Language is the stuff of us. Our debt to language is paid in full. Language is what we have. So we use it now to reshape and control the means, methods, and motivations for the production of timebased media: Moving-Images.

  2. 2. The Maladjusteds know that the spaces in-between words are where the image lives. The arsenal and the pantry of the filmmaker are sited at the in-between space.

  3. 3. The Maladjusteds liberate image from narrative. Narrative is the oppressor of the Moving-Image. The Reader conjures images in her conscious and unconscious mind as she reads. Those images come from some Place. The tasks and demands of the filmmaker extend beyond the mere illustration of the menageries of literature. Yes, it is true that the wild beasts of our literary imagination are painted, dressed, and caged by images the viewer has gleaned from the world around her, but the Moving-Image can and must do more than slave for narrative. The Moving-Image must rise up and reclaim the power it has for so long surrendered to story. The true power of the Moving-Image is its resistance to plot. Images resist.4 [End Page 247]

  4. 4. The Maladjusteds do not seek to destroy (subvert) mainstream commercial cinema. The Maladjusteds create movies that punctuate, highlight, and, indeed (!), capitalize on the ways in which Genre Movies (action, science fiction, and horror) potently legitimate sites of radicality within the crusty annals of illusionistic cinema5 In Genre (and Genre-Bending) lies the hope and future of commercial cinema. Genre has saved the studio system's flabby ass more than...


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pp. 246-255
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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