This resource guide introduces a comprehensive international collection of films and videos on art, architecture and modern literature available for sale worldwide.
Over some forty-four years the Roland Collection has selected from thousands of titles worldwide those that will be of lasting importance rather than of transient interest. It is continually developing and being updated and outstrips in breadth and depth anything comparable in the commercial or educational sphere. Bringing together films with an original production value of $50 million ($150 Million at today's production costs), it not only represents a learning resource that is flexible to the varied needs of users and audiences, it also embodies a philosophy and a vision.
The Roland Collection has rediscovered and preserved many rare films dating from the mid-twentieth century to the present which would otherwise have been lost. It is inspired by the conviction that the arts are of the highest imaginable importance – not as a desirable luxury in times of prosperity, but as a life-force indispensable to all our futures.
The films chosen by the collection reflect the notion of art as life-integral and life-giving; they also interconnect and cross-fertilize in unexpected ways, making the collection a significant whole. Every film sets up creative dialogs that cut across boundaries of epoch, culture, nationality and medium.
The Roland Collection offers inexhaustible worlds of history, culture, philosophy, emotion, human document, celebration, protest, moral challenge and imaginative liberation – all embodied in the forms of art. Website is designed to give free access to those worlds.
Film on Art: Film as Art
Anthony Roland, the curator and owner of the collection, is himself a film-maker who has directed sixteen of the key films in this catalog. His central, holistic concept, that a film on art must convey the life of the works shown and be a work of art with a parallel life of its own, sets the agenda for the whole collection. A rich interplay is established between artist, art work, film-director-as-artist, and viewer; and the collection itself, it can be said, has in some senses become for its creator an extended work of art.
Directors, Composers, Scriptwriters
In keeping with the concept of the art film as a "holistic" medium, Anthony Roland pays great attention to the merit of a film's music and narration as well as to the force and vision of the director. Several films are made by directors who have gone on to make feature films, many of the film scripts are by the most authoritative art historians, and many of the original scores are by top-ranking contemporary composers.
Directors who are especially in accord with Anthony Roland's ethos are often represented by several films. They include Carlo Ragghianti, a major figure in the Italian art world, who edited influential journals and pioneered the making and publicizing of art films. He developed his 'crito-film' genre, in which camera movements convey, almost subliminally, the structure of works to the viewer. There are also the powerful films of the French art critic Max-Pol Fouchet, which achieve a haunting quality through poetic and perceptive voice-overs set against slow, atmospheric camera movements and dramatic lighting.
The contributions of directors, composers and scriptwriters are scrupulously credited in the resource guide and are separately indexed to allow users who have appreciated a particular film to find others similarly directed, scored or narrated.
This website is far more than just a list of international films and videos available from a single source; it is designed and structured to reflect the richness of the whole collection and of individual programs.
The interactive resource guide is divided into thirty-seven sections on art and architecture, with titles that relate to several sections appearing more than once. Sections 1-23 introduce films chronologically, from the art of the earliest times to the present day, with some subdivisions by country or school. Sections 24-37 group films by subject, to help readers appreciate and assimilate the breadth of the collection. This presentation should make it easy for readers to find the right films for their needs and also prompt them to sample related titles and put together their own combinations from the range of the collection.
The rest of the interactive resource guide provides supplementary information about the collection: an overview of film and video series; comprehensive indexes to the programs on art and architecture; details of videos on modern literature; background information about the making of the collection; and everything you need to know when placing an order.