Sitney analyzes in detail the work of eleven American avant-garde filmmakers as heirs to the aesthetics of exhilaration and innovative vision articulated by Ralph Waldo Emerson and explored by John Cage and Gertrude Stein. The films discussed span the sixty years since the Second World War. With three chapters each devoted to Stan Brakhage and Robert Beavers, two each to Hollis Frampton and Jonas Mekas, and single chapters on Marie Menken, Ian Hugo, Andrew Noren, Warren Sonbert, Su Friedrich, Ernie Gehr, and Abigail Child, Eyes Upside Down is the fruit of Sitney's lifelong study of visionary aspirations of the American avant-garde cinema. Sitney's earlier book and critical essays defined the field of serious criticism of the American film avant-garde. He supplies a unique approach, critical, formal and intellectual, rather than sociological, ideological or institutional. Like his earlier book, Eyes Upside Down is a dense, sustained blast of convincing criticism which unfolds through a compelling personal vision. It makes a serious contribution to cinema studies and it is sure to remain in circulation for many years to come.