Beyond the Essay Film

Beyond the Essay Film

Subjectivity, Textuality and Technology

In the wake of the explosion in the production of essay films over the last twenty-five years and its subsequent theorization in scholarly literature, this volume seeks to historicize these intertwined developments within the 'long duree' of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Beyond the Essay Film seeks to not only acknowledge the influential predecessors of this - in the view of many critics - most interesting type of contemporary filmmaking - but also to speculate about its possible transformation as we move forward into the uncharted waters of the twenty-first - digital -century. Focusing on three specific axes that underpin and shape the articulation of the essay film as a specific cultural form - subjectivity, textuality and technology - this book explores how changes along and across these dimensions affect historical shifts within essay film practice and its relation to other types of cinema and neighbouring art forms.
  • Cover
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
    • Julia Vassilieva and Deane Williams
  • 1. 35 Years On: Is the ‘Text’, Once Again, Unattainable?
    • Raymond Bellour
  • 2. To Attain the Text. But Which Text?
    • Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin
  • 3. Compounding the Lyric Essay Film: Towards a Theory of Poetic Counter-Narrative
    • Laura Rascaroli
  • 4. ‘Every love story is a ghost story’: The Spectral Network of Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog (2015)
    • Deane Williams
  • 5. Lines of Interpretation in Fields of Perception and Remembrance: The Multiscreen Array as Essay
    • Ross Gibson
  • 6. Deborah Stratman’s The Illinois Parables (2016): Intellectual Vagabond and Vagabond Matter
    • Katrin Pesch
  • 7. Rethinking the Human, Rethinking the Essay Film: The Ecocritical Work of The Pearl Button
    • Belinda Smaill
  • 8. Montage Reloaded: From Russian Avant-Garde to the Audiovisual Essay
    • Julia Vassilieva
  • 9. ‘All I have to offer is myself’: The Film-Maker as Narrator
    • Richard Misek
  • 10. The Shudder of a Cinephiliac Idea? Videographic Film Studies Practice as Material Thinking
    • Catherine Grant
  • 11. The Home Movie as Essay Film: On Making Memory Posthumously
    • Thomas Elsaesser †
  • Index



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