The Essay Film: From Montaigne, After Marker

The Essay Film: From Montaigne, After Marker

by 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 Agn s 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199781706
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 08/01/2011
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Timothy Corrigan is Professor of Cinema Studies, English, and History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of New German Film and A Cinema without Walls and an editor of Critical Visions in Film Theory.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Of Film and the Essayistic
Part I: Toward the Essay Film
Chapter One. "On Thoughts Occasioned by. . ." Montaigne to Marker
Chapter Two. Of the History of the Essay Film: from Vertov to Varda
Part II: Essayistic Modes
Chapter Three. About Portraying Expression: The Essay Film as Inter-view
Chapter Four. To Be Elsewhere: Cinematic Excursions as Essayistic Travel
Chapter Five. On Essayistic Diaries, or the Cinematic Velocities of Public Life
Chapter Six. Of the Currency of Events: The Essay Film as Editorial
Chapter Seven. About Refractive Cinema: When Films Interrogate Films
Works Cited

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