The essay film.

Brink, Joram ten (1999) The essay film. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

This thesis on the essay film is written from the film maker's point of view, following the production of the film The Man Who Couldn't Feel and Other Tales, (54 min, 16mm). The film and the thesis together form the PhD submission. Examination of the completed film led to the definition of the essay film as an avantgarde, non-fiction film genre. The thesis rejects the current positioning of the essay film as a part of the documentary genre. The essay film creates an aesthetic coherence through the use of image and sound fragments, narrative and nonnarrative structures, `methodically unmethodically' edited together. The essay film follows Vertov's and Astruc's steps in 'writing' fragments as they occur to the film maker, which are in turn put together using the editing traditions of the film avantgarde and modernist poetry. The film maker's presence in the essay film results in the cinematic 'text' becoming the 'reflective text' - the mediating medium between the film maker and the spectator. Beside its avant-garde roots, the genre owes much to the literary essay tradition established since Michel de Montaigne. Many of the literary essay's aesthetic, thematic and structural elements are to be found in the essay film genre. Each and every essay film is unique in its structure, and the genre as a whole does not conform to a pre-determined cinematic construction. Nevertheless, the thesis charts some useful characteristics and definitions for the establishment of an independent essay film genre.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

Thesis submitted to Middlesex University in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Research Areas:Theses
School of Media and Performing Arts > Media & Performing Arts
ID Code:6876
Deposited On:12 Jan 2011 11:36
Last Modified:18 Jul 2014 18:02

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