Eclectic dialectics
in Regarding the real
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This chapter discusses William Klein’s filmmaking in relation to his photography, and how he has used documentary forms to investigate the relations between time and movement, image and montage. The chapter also looks at how Klein negotiates his identity as an American in Paris who has, nevertheless, remained artistically and politically attached to the USA, especially New York City. Some of Klein’s most iconic street photographs were taken in 1950s, in the streets of his childhood, and – as the chapter elucidates – much of his documentary filmmaking has involved expeditions into American culture in the second half of the twentieth century. In examining the various aesthetic and cultural issues provoked by Klein’s films, it also suggests a correspondence between his work and Roland Barthes’ intellectual project.

Regarding the real

Cinema, documentary, and the visual arts



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