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Thinking Images

The Essay Film as a Dialogic Form in European Cinema

Series:

David Montero

The essay film – ‘a form that thinks’ – serves to create a self-reflexive space for contemporary society by challenging expectations and demanding the creative involvement of the spectator. Using film to provoke thought has never been more important than now, when non-fiction films are gaining in popularity and playing a growing part in debates about culture and politics. This timely publication argues that the appeal of the essay film lies primarily in the dialogic engagement with the spectator and the richness of the intellectual and artistic debate it stimulates.
The book focuses on the work of three key European film directors associated with the essay film: Chris Marker, Harun Farocki and José Luis Guerín. It provides a detailed analysis of several films by each director, exploring the relationship between dialogism and essayism in their work and placing this in the wider context of debates on the cinematic essay as a genre. Central aspects of essayistic filmmaking are explored, including its radical approach to knowledge, its distinctive patterns of subjectivity, its challenging of the formal representation of reality, and its contribution to new understandings of spectatorship. Written with clarity and perception, this volume offers new insights into the rise of the non-fiction film and the essay film, in particular.

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Index 189

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A propos de Nice 137–140 active understanding 46 addressivity 46, 109, 114, 120, 130 Adorno, Theodor 4, 9–10, 15, 41, 43, 147 AK 82, 89 Algunos paseos por la ciudad de Sylvia 128 Alphaville 98 Alter, Nora 25, 29, 32, 74, 75, 76, 79, 85, 115 Althusser, Louis 121 Apra, Adriano 27, 36 Arthur, Paul 27–28, 36, 136–137, 144 Astruc, Alexandre 32–33 auteur cinema 23, 79–80 author and hero 16, 19, 81–83, 88, 91–93, 98 authorship 79, 83–87 Awakening of a Woman 135 Bakhtin, Mikhail 11–17, 43, 46–47, 57, 81, 83, 96, 107, 109, 120 Baudrillard, Jean 111 Bazin, André 33–35, 50 Before your Eyes – Vietnam 107 Bellour, Raymond 88, 119, 121 Bense, Max 8 Bergala, Alain 24 Blümlinger, Christa 36, 42, 76, 90–92, 101 Bordwell, David 128–131 Bruzzi, Stella 51, 53, 55–56 Buñuel, Luis 23, 50, 134, 141–143, 144 Català, Josep M. 28, 38, 42, 47, 61, 87, 115, 133 Cayrol, Jean 147 Chanan, Michael 53, 55–56 Chinoise, La 152 cinema vérité 151 Clash by Night 74 Coalface 52 Cooper, Sarah 18, 83–84, 86, 87 Corporation, The 56 Corrigan, Timothy 4, 18, 19, 24–25, 28, 42 Cuba si! 89 Deleuze, Gilles 36, 67–68 Description of a Struggle 89 Deserter 74, 75 dialogical authorship 83–87 dialogism 12–14, 43–44, 84, 88, 91, 107 displacement (viewer towards authorial positions) 119, 124 documentary film 1–3, 13,...

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