Documentary Film: A Primer

Overview

Documentary Film: A Primer provides a succinct introduction to the nature of the documentary, drawing on examples from the work of Robert Flaherty, Dziga Vertov, Leni Riefenstahl, Woody Allen, Warren Beatty, Spalding Gray, Cindy Sherman, Susan Sontag, and others. The documentaries discussed cover a range of subjects including the Russian Revolution, the Holocaust, and the worlds of fashion and sports. This incisive foray into the essentials of documentary is then buttressed by an in depth discussion of the career...
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Overview

Documentary Film: A Primer provides a succinct introduction to the nature of the documentary, drawing on examples from the work of Robert Flaherty, Dziga Vertov, Leni Riefenstahl, Woody Allen, Warren Beatty, Spalding Gray, Cindy Sherman, Susan Sontag, and others. The documentaries discussed cover a range of subjects including the Russian Revolution, the Holocaust, and the worlds of fashion and sports. This incisive foray into the essentials of documentary is then buttressed by an in depth discussion of the career of Jill Craigie, a British director/writer who brought to the cinema an uncompromising socialist and feminist perspective during the Second World War. How Craigie got her films produced by a major studio, and why her work could not be replicated in postwar Britain, reveal not only the way documentaries are made but also why they remain a controversial and problematic genre.

A selection of Rollyson's reviews of contemporary documentaries provides a model for discussing the genre. Students and fans of documentaries will find his list of classic documentaries on VHS and DVD and his excerpts from other critics of the genre of special interest. His topics for discussion section make this book a valuable resource for teachers as well.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780595339259
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 108
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.26 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2004

    Rediscovering an important filmmaker

    I wrote this book not only to provide a succinct account of documentary film as a genre but to introduce to film scholars and buffs the work of Jill Craigie, an extraordinary woman whose work has been neglected. Her passion for politics (she was married to British Labour leader Michael Foot) informs all her work, and she was unique in her generation by bringing a feminist and socialist perspective to filmmaking. You won't find her in histories of documentary films, and that is a great shame which I have attempt to rectify.

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