Nonfiction Film / Edition 1

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"Richard Barsam has given us as comprehensive a study of the origins and development of the nonfiction mode in motion pictures as we are ever likely to have in one volume. He draws on all the major written sources and many which are little known, and he shares with us many eloquent descriptions of the films themselves, giving us a valuable textbook." —Richard Dyer MacCann

"... superb work... " —Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television

Indiana University Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253207067
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1992
  • Edition description: Revised, Expanded ed.
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 504
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. 1 (1820-1933) Foundations of the Nonfiction Film
1 Reality Perceived and Recorded 3
From Memory to Movement 3
Persistence of Vision: Theories and Technologies 7
Still Photography
Series Photography
The Realist Impulse in Nineteenth-Century Art 13
2 The First Films 17
The First Films 17
Louis and Auguste Lumiere 19
The Lumieres' Contribution to Technology
The Lumiere Films
The Lumieres and Thomas A. Edison
The Lumieres' Overall Contribution to the Nonfiction Film
The Factual Film After the Lumieres 28
The Nonfiction Film and War: 1898-1918 30
Before World War I
World War I: 1914-18
British and Allied Films
German War Films
U.S. Government Films about World War I
American Commercial Films about World War I
3 Exploration, Romanticism, and the Western Avant-Garde 42
Factual Films of Travel and Exploration 42
Film and the American West
Films about Native Americans
The American Romantic Tradition 46
Robert Flaherty
Merian C. Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack
The Soviet Naturalist Tradition 55
Alexander Dovzhenko
The Western Avant-Garde 57
Alberto Cavalcanti
Walther Ruttmann
Joris Ivens
4 The Beginnings of the Documentary Film 65
Beginnings of the Soviet Propagandist Tradition 65
Dziga Vertov
Esther Shub and the Compilation Film
John Grierson and the Early British Documentary Film 77
Empire Marketing Board Film Unit
Pt. 2 (1933-1939) Documentary Films to Change the World
5 The British Documentary Movement: 1933-1945 89
General Post Office Film Unit Under John Grierson: 1933-37 89
Robert Flaherty and John Grierson: Industrial Britain (1933)
Basil Wright: The Song of Ceylon (1934)
Basil Wright and Harry Watt: Night Mail (1936)
Grierson's Influence
GPO Film Unit After John Grierson: 1937-40 100
The Independent Documentary Film: Production Outside the GPO Film Unit 104
Overall Achievements of British Documentary Film Movement in the 1930s 110
6 European and Asian Nonfiction Film: 1930-1939 112
Beginnings of the Film on Art 113
The Netherlands 115
Joris Ivens
John Ferno
Belgium 118
Charles Dekeukeleire
Andre Cauvin
Henri Storck
Sweden 121
Denmark 122
Spain 122
Germany 122
Organization of the Nazi Propaganda Film Effort
Nazi Ideology
Prewar Nazi Propaganda Films
Leni Riefenstahl
Triumph of the Will (1935)
Olympia (1938)
Japan 133
India 134
China 135
7 American Nonfiction Film: 1930-1939 137
Beginnings of the American Film on Art 137
Robert Flaherty: The Romantic Tradition Continues 139
Man of Aran (1934)
Joris Ivens: The European Political Documentary Comes to America 142
American Film on the Left: 1930-42 146
The Workers' Film and Photo League of America (1930-35)
Nykino (1935-37)
Frontier Film Group (1936-42)
Native Land (1942)
Pare Lorentz 151
The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936)
The River (1937)
The United States Film Service
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