The Essay Film: From Montaigne, After Marker

Overview


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, ...
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The Essay Film: From Montaigne, After Marker

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Overview


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.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The Essay Film is the most compelling and spirited monograph to surface yet on the topic."--Rick Warner, Critical Quarterly

"For media artists, scholars and students of cinema, Corrigan's reflections offer a passionate and convincing testimony to the transformative power of the essay film. Not since I read Roland Barthes' Mythologies have I come across a book that provides such a strong articulation of the visual thinking process."--Lynne Sachs, filmmaker

"Timothy Corrigan writes persuasively and vividly in offering up this coherent overview of the sprawling international phenomenon of the essay film. By providing a concise historical context, which ranges from Michel Montaigne to Michael Moore, he allows us to see the continuum and value of this idiosyncratic and vital form of expression."--Ross McElwee, Director, Sherman's March

"Inventively and insightfully, Timothy Corrigan establishes the essay film as a cinematic form of 'thinking out loud.' His eloquent book provides something similar: it is a richly productive meditation on meanings that interweaves voices, subjectivities, and resonant reflection. This essential volume now determines future consideration of this key genre."--Dana Polan, author of Scenes of Instruction: The Beginnings of the U.S. Study of Film

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199781706
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,397,474
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet 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.

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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 Index

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