The Essay Film: From Montaigne, After Marker
Oxford University Press, Aug 1, 2011 - Performing Arts - 256 pages
Why have certain kinds of documentary and non-narrative films emerged as the most interesting, exciting, and provocative movies made in the last twenty years? Ranging from the films of Ross McElwee (Bright Leaves) and Agnès Varda (The Gleaners and I) to those of Abbas Kiarostami (Close Up) and Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir), such films have intrigued viewers who at the same time have struggled to categorize them. Sometimes described as personal documentaries or diary films, these eclectic works are, rather, best understood as cinematic variations on the essay. So argues Tim Corrigan in this stimulating and necessary new book. Since Michel de Montaigne, essays have been seen as a lively literary category, and yet--despite the work of pioneers like Chris Marker--seldom discussed as a cinematic tradition. The Essay Film, offering a thoughtful account of the long rapport between literature and film as well as novel interpretations and theoretical models, provides the ideas that will change this.
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activity adaptation aesthetic agency Alan Clarke avantgarde Bazin becomes biopics Blue Bright Leaves camera central Chris Marker closeup coherent commentary conceptual contemporary creates crisis critical cultural current events death Deleuze Derek Jarman describes dialogue diary documentary documentary films dramatic encounter engage epistolary essay film essayistic subject everyday excursion experiential exploration expression fiction FIGURE filmmakers Five Obstructions footage found footage frame Gleaners Godard’s Harun Farocki Herzog’s home movie human ideas identity intellectual intertitle interview Jarman’s journey films kind Koreans language Letter from Siberia Leuchter literary Marker McElwee McElwee’s memory modern Montaigne movement narrative paintings perspective photoessay photographic political portrait positions postwar Press public experience reenactments reflection reflexive refractive essay representational Robinson Robinson in Space Sabzian selfportrait sequence shifting short film shot social space spatial specifically streets television temporal thinking thought tradition travelogue Univ Varda verbal viewer visual voice voiceover Westerbork writing