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Cinema, documentary, and the visual arts
Author: Des O’Rawe

Regarding the real: cinema, documentary, and the visual arts develops an approach to the study of documentary film focussing on its aesthetic and cultural relations to the modern visual arts, especially: animation, assemblage, photography, painting, and architecture. In particular, it examines how documentary practices have often incorporated methods and expressive techniques derived from these art forms. Combining close analysis with cultural history, the book re-assesses the influence of the modern visual arts in subverting the structures of realism typically associated with documentary film, and considers the work of figures whose preferred film language is associative, and fragmentary, and for whom the documentary remains an open form, an unstable expressive phenomenon that at its best interrogates its own narratives, and intentions. In the course of its discussion, the book charts a path that leads from Len Lye to Hiroshi Teshigahara, and includes along the way figures such as Joseph Cornell, Johan van der Keuken, William Klein, Jean-Luc Godard, Jonas Mekas, Raymond Depardon.

UK artists’ film on television
A. L. Rees

reforms, and shaken by student demands, sit-ins and calls for more relevance to the times, the UK art schools were a hothouse for radical new media and cultural theory. For Malcolm Le Grice, they were turning into ‘one of the components of cultural intervention’ rather than simply a preparation for it.9 Many of the artist filmmakers who made up the structural avant-garde in the UK were art school graduates from this period, as were a considerable number of the social-political independent filmmakers who were among the new voices of the 1970s. The RCA Film and Television

in Experimental British television
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British journeys
Paul Newland

in the film, located on the A4 Bath Road at Brislington Hill. The effect of this exploration of an old road across southern England is to offer a richly evocative vision of the country at the end of the 1970s which does not always chime with popular contemporary mythologies of Englishness. 75 056-084_BritFilm70s_Ch 2.indd 75 19/11/2012 12:58 British films of the 1970s In their lack of clarity or sense of closure, the ambivalent last scenes of Radio On serve to locate the film within (or at least alongside) the British avant-garde. Robert drives his old Rover

in British films of the 1970s
Guy Austin

pioneer of ‘impressionist’ cinema or ‘the first avant-garde’ in the 1920s (see chapter 1 ). Dulac, however, was the exception, and women were generally on the other side of the camera in classical French cinema. In the immediate post-war years, women – now granted the vote – were largely restricted to filming documentaries and shorts, although Jacqueline Audry specialised in literary adaptations during the forties and fifties

in Contemporary French cinema
Aesthetic integration and disintegration in Jean Epstein’s La Chute de la maison Usher
Guy Crucianelli

Introduction Adapted from Edgar Allan Poe’s story, ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’, Jean Epstein’s 1928 film La Chute de la maison Usher incorporates nearly all the major avant-garde trends of the previous one hundred years and interprets them through an early twentieth-century modernist sensibility. In its treatment of the artist in self

in Monstrous adaptations
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The multiple faces of Chantal Akerman
Marion Schmid

with the most original of creative writing. In interviews, she deliberately avoids aligning herself with any cinematic tradition or movement, but has nonetheless given some clues to her preferences in terms of film style. As we will see, she is deeply indebted to the American avant-garde of the 1970s, but she also mentions fellow European directors Eric Rohmer, Jean Eustache and Rainer Werner Fassbinder alongside Godard as

in Chantal Akerman
Sam Rohdie

Of all Eisenstein’s films Strike retains best of all the promise and mutual interests of the Russian cultural avant-garde and of the Bolshevik political revolution. Strike is both a great film of European modernism and a testament to the energies and hopes of the Bolshevik Revolution. Before Eisenstein made Strike in 1925, he had worked for some years after the Revolution in theatre

in Montage
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Philippe Garrel, an irregular auteur
Michael Leonard

vast heterogeneous body of French cinema that developed in its aftermath. This anomalous position is compounded by an oeuvre that often resists straightforward exegetical criticism, and challenges traditionally held critical oppositions such as those of the real and the imaginary, documentary and fiction, political and personal, avant-garde and mainstream. This study traces the irregularity of the film-maker’s oeuvre and situates it within the context of French film culture, history and society. It contends that in addition to making him an important figure in

in Philippe Garrel
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Anatomy of an avant-garde
Marion Schmid

work, it needs to be aligned, on the one hand, with the counter-culture of the 1960s and 70s, which vigorously attacked oppressive structures of power and domination and explored new forms of identity, sexuality and desire, and, on the other hand, with the avant-garde practices in film, the theatre and the visual arts that gave artistic form to these interrogations. Directly influenced by the American avant-garde which she

in Chantal Akerman
Epstein’s philosophy of the cinema
Christophe Wall-Romana

provocation, ‘poésie en quantité industrielle’ [‘poetry in industrial quantities’] (Epstein, 1976: 247). While early on, he aligned cinema’s poetry with the specific innovations of avant-garde modernism in Proust, Cendrars, Aragon, and others, he later expanded both his sense of ‘poetry’ and of catharsis. Although he remains vague about what the aesthetic qualities of ‘poetry’ should be when they apply to cinema, Le Tempestaire might serve as a precious exemplum. As for catharsis, after being dubious of Freud’s psychoanalysis as a whole (see ‘Freud ou le nick

in Jean Epstein