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The Essay Film


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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

About 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.


"The editors have similarly assembled a diverse and interdisciplinary group of renowned authors and practitioners, focusing here on the essay film's heterogeneous forms and practices. As such, this volume is a welcome addition to a growing body of literature that investigates the place of subjectivity and "the personal" within documentary filmmaking. It should also be of interest to a range of humanities students and scholars, together with nonfiction and experimental filmmakers." -- Tanya Goldman, Cinema Journal "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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