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The Personal Camera: Subjective Cinema and the Essay Film

Overview

The Personal Camera is an exploration of an elusive but increasingly compelling field: essayistic cinema. The essay film, together with its cognate forms - the diary, the travelogue, the notebook and the self-portrait - is cinema in the first person. It is a cinema of thought, of investigation and self-reflection in which the filmmaker, instead of withdrawing behind the camera, comes out into the open to say 'I', to take responsibility, and to address and engage with the spectator within a shared space of ...

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Overview

The Personal Camera is an exploration of an elusive but increasingly compelling field: essayistic cinema. The essay film, together with its cognate forms - the diary, the travelogue, the notebook and the self-portrait - is cinema in the first person. It is a cinema of thought, of investigation and self-reflection in which the filmmaker, instead of withdrawing behind the camera, comes out into the open to say 'I', to take responsibility, and to address and engage with the spectator within a shared space of embodied subjectivity. Authorial, experimental and radical, essayistic cinema belongs within the lineage of avant-garde and political filmmaking, and responds above all to the need we feel today for more, contingent, autobiographical, private forms of expression. By engaging with directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, Harun Farocki, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Aleksandr Sokurov, Michelangelo Antonioni, Derek Jarman, Federico Fellini, Jonas Mekas and Agnès Varda, this book provides novel answers to some of the seminal questions of cinema: on the nature of the cinematographic experience; on authorship and spectatorship, on the filmic commitment to truth and on the state of subjectivity today.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

Comprehensive, insightful, richly detailed, and passionately argued... Essential.

Choice

Comprehensive, insightful, richly detailed, and passionately argued... Essential.

Scope
Rascaroli's text is one of impressive intellectual rigor and of utter importance to the study of an ever-changing form — subjective cinema — and of filmmaking at large.

— Daniele Rugo

Scope - Daniele Rugo

Rascaroli's text is one of impressive intellectual rigor and of utter importance to the study of an ever-changing form -- subjective cinema -- and of filmmaking at large.

Choice

Comprehensive, insightful, richly detailed, and passionately argued... Essential.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781906660123
  • Publisher: Wallflower Press
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Rascaroli is senior lecturer in film studies at University College Cork, Ireland. She is the author, in collaboration with Ewa Mazierska, of From Moscow to Madrid: Postmodern Cities, European Cinema (2003), The Cinema of Nanni Moretti: Dreams and Diaries (2004), and Crossing New Europe: Postmodern Travel and the European Road Movie (2006).

Wallflower Press

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Table of Contents

acknowledgements vii

introduction Subjective cinema and the l/eye of the camera 1

part 1 the essay film

1 The essay film: problems, definitions, textual commitments 21

2 The metacritical voice(over) of the essay film: Harun Farocki, found footage and the essayist as spectator 44

3 The musealisation of experience: Chris Marker's digital subject between archive, museum and database 64

4 Performance and negotiation: Jean-Luc Godard plays Jean-Luc Godard 84

part 2 personal cinema

5 First-person filmmaking: history, theory, practices

6 The diary film: Aleksandr Sokurov's Spiritual Voices and the feeling of time 115

7 The notebook film: Pier Paolo Pasolini and the film that cannot be made 146

8 The self-portrait film: Michelangelo's last gaze 170

afterword 189

notes 192

bibliography 206

index 220

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