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.
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 Europeanmodernism 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
Chantal Akerman was one of Europe's most acclaimed and prolific contemporary directors, who came to prominence with Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, and 1080 Bruxelles. Her family history is intimately bound up with the horrors of the Holocaust. Akerman was born in Brussels on 6 June 1950, the first child of Jewish Polish immigrants who settled in Belgium in the late 1930s. Filmmaking, for her, was an imaginative and creative engagement with the silence that weighed heavily on her childhood. Behind the multiple guises of Akerman, this book seeks to present a cinema that crystallises questions that are at the heart of our post-war, post-Holocaust, post-feminist sensibility. It identifies the characteristics of her avant-garde work of the 1970s, the period most closely influenced by American structuralist film and performance art. The book surveys her work in the following decade in the context of post-modernism, the new aesthetic of kitsch and the emergence of a new hedonism in Western critical discourses. It is dedicated to her documentary work of the 1990s and 2000s, which sheds light on the central ethical and aesthetic concerns behind her work. The book discusses her attempts to penetrate into the mainstream, her renewed engagement with the themes of love and desire, and her further exploration of the permeable boundaries between autobiography and fiction. What emerges forcefully in Akerman's cinema, is a persistent engagement with the forms and conditions of human existence.
with realism, four with intuitionist modernism.
European Film Theory and Cinema was, therefore, a book about
intuitionist modernist realism, rather than a conventional
‘introduction’ to film theory.
In addition to this intuitionist modernist and realist
orientation, European Film Theory and Cinema also attempted a twofold
stratagem of recuperation and elision. The effort at recuperation was
most vital artistic movements of the nineteenth and
twentieth centuries, including a politically progressive naturalism,
and most forms of modernism. Lukács’ disavowal of
naturalism eventually proved relatively uncontroversial, given the
extent to which the classical naturalist tradition had fallen out of
favour by the 1930s; and, while the inter-war period in Europe saw
Godard’s For Ever Mozart was made in 1996. It refers directly to the civil
war and massacres in ex-Yugoslavia (Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo) that
were taking place. It was a situation away from Europe, elsewhere, yet here,
on its borders, in a European country that most of Europe seemed unable
or unwilling to do much about.
Here and Elsewhere have been a central preoccupation in Godard’s
films. One of them, which concerns the situation in Palestine/Israel, has
the title Ici et Ailleurs (Here and Elsewhere) (1974) and there is as well Made
in USA (1966
different. If I had to make a
modern film, I would not know where to seek my settings; it seems
to me that everything is less interesting, that is, less stimulating.
European society up to the First World War was one of extreme contrasts and significant aesthetic achievements. The contemporary
world is so much the same, so grey, much less refined, wouldn’t
As most narrative films develop their story and move forward to the conclusion of that development, they create their own past. Each event consigns preceding ones by a
mise en scène is modern precisely because it
is avoids modernism’s excesses in favour of classical equilibrium, and
innovative to the extent that, unlike its competitors, it stakes no claim to
revolutionising the medium. This enlightened conservatism, tailored to a
limited yet discerning public, looks askance at its historical moment, as if
to declare its indifference toward the busier, noisier aesthetic that has
[…] until Peter Greenaway, Derek Jarman and other film-makers emerged in the 1980s.’ 2 During the 1920s, the French, German and Soviet cinemas produced films which formed part of the broader artistic culture of Europeanmodernism and had direct links to movements such as expressionism, Dada, surrealism and constructivism. These films are now acknowledged as canonical in the history of art cinema and principal constituents of what Andrew Tudor has called ‘the period of “formation” during which the very status of cinema as art was a central focus for struggle’. 3 In
veterans known as gueules cassées (‘broken
mugs’), among whom Blaise Cendrars made a cameo, since he’d lost
his right arm at the front. Of course, in the film the living had no
retort. European modernity had argued that utopia and humanism
ultimately outweighed the negative aspects of innovation, exploitation, alienation, and colonization. Post-war modernism faced a radical
quandary: what should now be the project of modernity? How could
science, nationalism, commerce – even intellectuals themselves, who
had been largely pro-war as a class whether in France or Germany