Three Documentary Filmmakers: Errol Morris, Ross McElwee, Jean Rouch

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Overview

Film study has tended to treat documentary as a marginal form, but as the essays in Three Documentary Filmmakers demonstrate, the films of Jean Rouch, Ross McElwee, and Errol Morris call for, and reward, the sort of criticism expected of serious works in any medium. However, critical methods that illuminate what makes Citizen Kane a great film are not adequate for expressing what it is about Rouch's The Funeral at Bongo: The Old Annai, McElwee's Time Indefinite, and Morris's The Fog of War that makes them-each in its own way-great films as well. Although these film-makers differ strikingly from one another, their films are deeply philosophical and personal, and explore the paradoxical relationships between fantasy and reality, self and world, fiction and documentary, dreams and film, filming and living. It is a challenge to find terms of criticism capable of illuminating such works, and the essays in this book rise to that challenge.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Rothman's contributors ... all bring fruitful perspectives to bear on their subjects. The pieces vary widely in focus and approach, but the collection is solid and provocative.— CHOICE

"The force and virtue of this book can be found in the interstices between and among three vastly different auteurs, styles, subjects, and cinematic dispositions. It will cause readers to think of documentary along new and unforeseen paths of inquiry."— Tom Conley, author of Cartographic Cinema
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781438425016
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 3/5/2009
  • Series: SUNY series, Horizons of Cinema
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

William Rothman is Professor of Motion Pictures and Director of the Graduate Program in Film Studies at the University of Miami. He is the author of several books, including Documentary Film Classics and Hitchcock: The Murderous Gaze, and also the editor of several volumes, including Cavell on Film, also published by SUNY Press, and Jean Rouch: A Celebration of Life and Film.

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Table of Contents

Introduction William Rothman 1

Part 1 Errol Morris: The Fog of Film 11

1 Errol Morris's Irony Gilberto Perez 13

2 Errol Morris's Forms of Control Ira Jaffe 19

3 The Philosophy of Errol Morris: Ten Lessons Carl Plantinga 43

Part 2 Ross McElwee: I Film Therefore I Am 61

4 Coincidence in Ross McElwee's Documentaries Diane Stevenson 63

5 Reflections on Bright Leaves Marian Keane 73

6 Drifting in Time: Ross McElwee's Time Indefinite Jim Lane 83

7 Surprise and Pain, Writing and Film Charles Warren 91

8 Sometimes Daddies Don't Talk about Things like That William Rothman 103

Part 3 Jean Rouch: The Filmmaker as Provocateur 123

9 Jean Rouch and the Power of the Between Paul Stoller 125

10 The Pause of the World Daniel Morgan 139

11 Jean Rouch's Les Maitres fous: Documentary of Seduction, Seduction of Documentary Alan Cholodenko 157

12 Petit a Petit and The Lion Hunters Michael Laramee 179

13 Jean Rouch as Film Artist: Tourou and Bitti, The Old Anai, Ambara Dama William Rothman 197

Works Cited 233

List of Contributors 239

Index 243

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