Search results for: essays-on-the-essay-film

Essays on the Essay Film

Author : Nora M. Alter
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The essay—with its emphasis on the provisional and explorative rather than on definitive statements—has evolved from its literary beginnings and is now found in all mediums, including film. Today, the essay film is, arguably, one of the most widely acclaimed and critically discussed forms of filmmaking around the world, with practitioners such as Chris Marker, Hito Steyerl, Errol Morris, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Rithy Panh. Characteristics of the essay film include the blending of fact and fiction, the mixing of art- and documentary-film styles, the foregrounding of subjective points of view, a concentration on public life, a tension between acoustic and visual discourses, and a dialogic encounter with audiences. This anthology of fundamental statements on the essay film offers a range of crucial historical and philosophical perspectives. It provides early critical articulations of the essay film as it evolved through the 1950s and 1960s, key contemporary scholarly essays, and a selection of writings by essay filmmakers. It features texts on the foundations of the essay film by writers such as Hans Richter and André Bazin; contemporary positions by, among others, Phillip Lopate and Michael Renov; and original essays by filmmakers themselves, including Laura Mulvey and Isaac Julien.

The Essay Film After Fact and Fiction

Author : Nora M. Alter
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Nora M. Alter reveals the essay film to be a hybrid genre that fuses the categories of feature, art, and documentary film. Like its literary predecessor, the essay film draws on a variety of forms and approaches; in the process, it fundamentally alters the shape of cinema. The Essay Film After Fact and Fiction locates the genre’s origins in early silent cinema and follows its transformation with the advent of sound, its legitimation in the postwar period, and its multifaceted development at the turn of the millennium. In addition to exploring the broader history of the essay film, Alter addresses the innovative ways contemporary artists such as Martha Rosler, Isaac Julien, Harun Farocki, John Akomfrah, and Hito Steyerl have taken up the essay film in their work.

The Essay Film

Author : Elizabeth Papazian
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With its increasing presence in a continuously evolving media environment, the essay film as a visual form raises new questions about the construction of the subject, its relationship to the world, and the aesthetic possibilities of cinema. In this volume, authors specializing in various national cinemas (Cuban, French, German, Israeli, Italian, Lebanese, Polish, Russian, American) and critical approaches (historical, aesthetic, postcolonial, feminist, philosophical) explore the essay film and its consequences for the theory of cinema while building on and challenging existing theories. Taking as a guiding principle the essay form's dialogic, fluid nature, the volume examines the potential of the essayistic to question, investigate, and reflect on all forms of cinema—fiction film, popular cinema, and documentary, video installation, and digital essay. A wide range of filmmakers are covered, from Dziga Vertov (Man with a Movie Camera, 1928), Chris Marker (Description of a Struggle, 1960), Nicolás Guillén Landrián (Coffea Arábiga, 1968), Pier Paolo Pasolini (Notes for an African Oresteia, 1969), Chantal Akerman (News from Home, 1976) and Jean-Luc Godard (Notre musique, 2004) to Nanni Moretti (Palombella Rossa, 1989), Mohammed Soueid (Civil War, 2002), Claire Denis (L'Intrus, 2004) and Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life, 2011), among others. The volume argues that the essayistic in film—as process, as experience, as experiment—opens the road to key issues faced by the individual in relation to the collective, but can also lead to its own subversion, as a form of dialectical thought that gravitates towards crisis.

The Essay Film

Author : Timothy Corrigan
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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 Agnes 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.

How the Essay Film Thinks

Author : Laura Rascaroli
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" This book offers a novel understanding of the epistemological strategies that are mobilized by the essay film, and of where and how such strategies operate. Against the backdrop of Theodor W. Adorno's discussion of the essay form's anachronistic, anti-systematic and disjunctive mode of resistance, and capitalizing on the centrality of the interstice in Gilles Deleuze's understanding of the cinema as image of thought, the book discusses the essay film as future philosophy-as a contrarian, political cinema whose argumentation engages with us in a space beyond the verbal. A diverse range of case studies discloses how the essay film can be a medium of thought on the basis of its dialectic use of audiovisual interstitiality. The book shows how the essay film's disjunctive method comes to be realized at the level of medium, montage, genre, temporality, sound, narration, and framing-all of these emerging as interstitial spaces of intelligence that illustrate how essayistic meaning can be sustained, often in contexts of political, historical or cultural extremity. The essayistic urge is not to be identified with a fixed generic form, but is rather situated within processes of filmic thinking that thrive in gaps. "--

Beyond Document

Author : Charles Warren
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Critics and writers consider nonfiction film both as document and as creative work with strong artistic, political, and moral implications.

British Science Fiction Film and Television

Author : Tobias Hochscherf
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Written by international experts from a range of disciplines, these essays examine the uniquely British contribution to science fiction film and television. Viewing British SF as a cultural phenomenon that challenges straightforward definitions of genre, nationhood, authorship and media, the editors provide a conceptual introduction placing the essays within their critical context. Essay topics include Hammer science fiction films, the various incarnations of Doctor Who, Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, and such 21st-century productions as 28 Days Later and Torchwood.

Memory in World Cinema

Author : Nancy J. Membrez
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Film itself is an artifact of memory. A blend of all the other fine arts, film portrays and preserves human memory, someone's memory, faulty or not, dramatically or comically, in a documentary, feature film or short. Hollywood may dominate 80 percent of cinema production but it is not the only voice. World cinema is about those other voices. Drawn initially from presentations from a series of film conferences held at the University of Texas at San Antonio, this collection of essays covers multiple geographical, linguistic, and cultural areas worldwide, emphasizing the historical and cultural interpretation of films. Appendices list films focusing on memory and invite readers to explore the films and issues raised.

Falling for You

Author : Lesley Stern
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How do we understand and respond to performance in cinema? How does the performing body move through cinematic space and according to cinematic temporalities? Focusing on the work of the actor, but not simply about acting, Falling for You offers a range of theoretical approaches for illuminating the affective force of cinema. Concentrating on the work of important figures such as Welles, Cassavetes, Scorsese, Hartley, Ts'ai Ming-Liang, Chaplin, Keaton and Streisand, these essays will also be read for their inventive and persuasive readings of particular films and performers. In its lively curiosity about an under-theorised area, Falling For You brings an invigorating perspective to bear on performance and expands the imaginative horizon of cinema studies.

The Films of Wes Anderson

Author : P. Kunze
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Wes Anderson's films can be divisive, but he is widely recognized as the inspiration for several recent trends in indie films. Using both practical and theoretical lenses, the contributors address and explain the recurring stylistic techniques, motifs, and themes that dominate Anderson's films and have had such an impact on current filmmaking.

An Invention Without a Future

Author : James Naremore
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In 1895, Louis Lumière supposedly said that cinema is “an invention without a future.” James Naremore uses this legendary remark as a starting point for a meditation on the so-called death of cinema in the digital age, and as a way of introducing a wide-ranging series of his essays on movies past and present. These essays include discussions of authorship, adaptation, and acting; commentaries on Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Vincente Minnelli, John Huston, and Stanley Kubrick; and reviews of more recent work by non-Hollywood directors Pedro Costa, Abbas Kiarostami, Raúl Ruiz, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Important themes recur: the relations between modernity, modernism, and postmodernism; the changing mediascape and death of older technologies; and the need for robust critical writing in an era when print journalism is waning and the humanities are devalued. The book concludes with essays on four major American film critics: James Agee, Manny Farber, Andrew Sarris, and Jonathan Rosenbaum.

Sound Matters

Author : Nora M. Alter
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Working across established disciplines & methodological divides, these essays investigate the ways in which texts, artists, & performers in all kinds of media have utilized sound materials in order to enforce or complicate dominant notions of German cultural & national identity.

Adventures of Perception

Author : Scott MacDonald
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"These essays are among Scott MacDonald's best. An added bonus among all this new work is one updated vintage essay from 1981—still the very best essay ever written about the uses of pornography. All the essays are intellectually, personally and viscerally vibrant, coupling substantive recent essays with his trademark, probing interviews with key filmmakers. Each interview is beautifully paired with the essays. Scott MacDonald is a monument to thoughtful knowledge of, and pleasure in, avant-garde cinema."—Linda Williams, author of Screening Sex "More than any other critic, Scott MacDonald truly explores contemporary experimental cinema, seeking out new works and new artists, reconsidering classics and broadening out our sense of film history from the images on screen to the social, political and economic contexts and debates surrounding them. And yet if MacDonald surveys a complex landscapes, his books never carry the claustrophobia of the archive or academia. This criticism answers the call of the open road, with conversations and companionship with vivid personalities guiding the way, and the sense of high adventure waiting just around the bend."—Tom Gunning, Chair, Committee on Cinema and Media, University of Chicago

Bullying in Popular Culture

Author : Abigail G. Scheg
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Public awareness of bullying has increased tremendously in recent years, largely through its representation in film, television and novels. In popular media targeted towards young readers and viewers, depictions of bullying can present teachable moments and relatable situations. Written from a variety of perspectives, this collection of new essays offers a broad overview of bullying. The contributors discuss the changing face of bullying in popular media, bullying among females, parents who cyberbully, anti-bullying novels, the phenomenon of a Schadenfreude obsessed culture, and how reality television shapes youth perceptions of what is acceptable aggressiveness.

Different Bodies

Author : Marja Evelyn Mogk
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This is a collection of 19 new essays by 21 different authors from the United States, the UK, Canada, Australia and India. It focuses on contemporary film and television (1989 to the present) from those countries as well as from China, Korea, Thailand and France. The essays are divided into three sections. The first and second, entitled "Disability on Screen: Critical Reflections," include critical readings of narrative film and television respectively. The third, entitled "Disability in Production and Reception: Critical Reflections," includes essays on documentaries, biopics and autobiographically-informed films, and an essay on audience reactions to a television series. The book as a whole is designed to be accessible to readers new to disability studies, while also contributing significantly to the field. An introduction provides a background in disability studies and an appendix of suggested reading in disability studies is provided.

A House Made of Light

Author : George E. Toles
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When the lights go down and the film starts to roll, we give ourselves over to the magic of movies. But as George Toles observes, what we experience in this house of light may strike closer to home than we imagine. In eleven essays, Toles combines aesthetic inquiry with a psychology of spectatorship to illuminate the dialogue between sentiment and irony that unfolds in every good movie. Reflecting a literary critic's and professional screenwriter's ongoing love affair with cinema, each essay plunges the reader into the experience of one or more films, inviting us to ponder the nature and implications of that experience. Toles considers a wide variety of film experience, from Frank Capra to the Coen brothers to Alfred Hitchcock. However escapist a trip to the movies might be, says Toles, there is no escaping some version of "home" in every film experience. Toles examines important homes--from the cottage in Random Harvest to the foreboding Bates house in Psycho--to suggest that the house of film is a frame we long to enter in the spirit of homecoming but one that we cannot possess any more securely than the lost home of our beginnings. As film study marks a return to art-centered criticism, A House Made of Light breaks new ground in its assessment of the creation--and enjoyment--of movies.

Tim Burton

Author : Johnson Cheu
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Since his early days at Disney, Tim Burton has shown a unique talent and vision. His writing and directing credits range from big-budget features such as Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), to the comically grisly The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and Corpse Bride (2005), to the twisted fairy tale Edward Scissorhands (1990), to literary adaptations like Big Fish (2003), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) and Sweeney Todd (2007). Though his name has become synonymous with the macabre and the odd, Burton's films often reveal and champion the flawed human in us all. This collection of new essays brings together scholarship on many of his popular films, adaptations, and innovations in stop-motion animation and his collaborative relationship with actor Johnny Depp, providing an in-depth exploration of one of the most prominent figures on the pop culture landscape in recent decades.

Reel Food

Author : Anne Bower
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First published in 2005. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Film Essays and Criticism

Author : Rudolf Arnheim
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One of the world s leading film theorists, Rudolf Arnheim has been well known to readers of English since the publication of his classic Film as Art in 1957. This is the first English translation of another of his important books, Kritiken und Aufsatze zum Film, which collects both film reviews and theoretical essays, most of them written between 1925 and 1940. As a young man in 1920s Berlin, Arnheim began writing about film for the satirical magazine Das Stachelschwein. In 1928, as the Weimar Republic began to crumble, he joined the intellectual weekly Die Weltbuhne as film critic and assistant editor for cultural affairs. His most important contributions to both magazines are published here, including witty and incisive comments on many of the great classics of the silent and early sound period, such as Buster Keaton s The General and Fritz Lang s Metropolis. With the advent of Nazism in Germany, Arnheim emigrated first to Italy, where he wrote essays (many included here) for a nascent Enciclopedia del Cinema, and then to England and the United States. The thirty essays on film theory discuss elements of theory and technique, early sound film, production, style and content, and the relationship of film and the state. The fifty-six critical pieces include Arnheim s thoughts on the practice of film criticism, his reviews of German, American, French, and Soviet films, and his profiles of Greta Garbo, Charlie Chaplin, Felix Bressart, Erich von Stroheim, and others. Also included in the volume are an introduction (newly revised by Arnheim) and a comprehensive bibliography. "

Technologies of Gender

Author : Teresa De Lauretis
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"Technologies of Gender builds a bridge between the fashionable orthodoxies of academic theory (Lacan, Foucault, Derrida, et al.) and the frequently-marginalized contributions of feminist theory. . . . In sum, de Lauretis has written a book that should be required reading for every feminist in need of theoretical ammunition--and for every theorist in need of feminist enlightenment." --B. Ruby Rich " . . . sets philosophical ideas humming. . . . she has much to say." --Cineaste "I can think of no other work that pushes the debate on the female subject forward with such passion and intellectual rigor." --SubStance This book addresses the question of gender in poststructuralist theoretical discourse, postmodern fiction, and women's cinema. It examines the construction of gender both as representation and as self-representation in relation to several kinds of texts and argues that feminism is producing a radical rewriting, as well as a rereading, of the dominant forms of Western culture.