We have no reason to think so. Yet also, shockingly, here and present as we watch and listen.
Perhaps a close cousin to documentary, the essay film is at its core a personal mode of filmmaking. Structured in a Notes on filmmaking essay by chris marker of forms, a partial definition could be said to be part fact, part fiction with an intense intimacy but none of these are necessarily paramount.
Stemming from the literary essay as a form of personal expression borne from in-depth explorations of its chosen topic, the essay film can be agitprop, exploratory, or diaristic and generally rejects narrative progression and concretised conclusions in favour of a thematic ambivalence.
Due to its nature as inherently personal, the term itself is as vague and expansive as the broad collective of films it purports to represent. In built then is an inherent expansiveness that informs a great ambition in the form itself, but as Huxley acknowledges it can only say almost anything; whether extolling the need for a socialist state Man with a Movie Cameradeconstructing the power and status of the image itself Histoire s du Cinema, Images of the World and the Inscription of War, Los Angeles Plays Itself or providing a means to consider ones of past Walden, News from home, Bluethe essay film is only the form of expression, which unlike any other taxonomic term suggests almost nothing about the film itself other than its desire to explore.
Below is an 17 film introduction to the essay film that cannot be pinned down and continue to remake and remodel itself as freely as it sheds connections between any of the films within its own canon.
Man with a Movie Camera dir. Its propagandist structure does not however belie its beauty. Its propagation of film as the means through which life is realised, that the camera is now an unequivocal feature of modernity and too a powerful political tool, creates a filmic love letter to industrialisation and the humanist elements of physical labour.
In opposition to Eisenstein, Vertov is a master of his own brand of idiosyncratic montage which, with its sublime manipulative technique combined with realist images, rejects the opiate affects of traditional narrative cinema, attempting to create instead a cinematic language in which the camera becomes the pen of the 20th century.
A Propos de Nice dir. The leisurely upper classes of French society are the subjects of a portrayal the blind escapism and ignorance created by modernity. Vigo thus contrasts the bourgeois culture of relaxation with the daily grind of the poor in society.
Engrained in the very structure of modern society is, for Vigo, deep social inequality; life in this case masks its own inequalities through ignorance and selfishness. Images of women energetically dancing are reduced to slow modern and thus arises from them the absurdity of inherent inequalities.
Like a Jay Gatsby party, the excitement and laughter only serves to mask a profound emptiness whose own ridiculousness is an unacknowledged form of societal freakshow, which only those on the outside can perceive.
Jean-Luc Godard In a year of 3 Godard diatribes against neo-capitalism, 2 or 3 Thing I Know About Her is the most contemplative; if La Chinoise a document of the soon to be riotous students, 2 or 3 is the suburban families watching the events unfold on their television screens.
If language is the house one lives in, as Juliette informs her son, then the house is subject to the blind whims of suited right wing repo men.
The portrait of Juliette is a composite sketch of the modern citizen, replaceable, replicable to the extent that Godard introduces Juliette first as Marina Vlady, the actress who plays her, before acknowledging her as a fictional creation; a less subtle evocation of the resignation to role playing in post-war France, watching death in Vietnam while decided whether or not to go and wash the car.
Walden; Diaries, Notes, and Sketches dir. Jonas Mekas Walden is the essay film in its most diaristic form. F for Fake dir. Increasingly Welles rejects infallibility in favour of a profound ambivalence that is read across the careers of various forgers to eventually become, as is naturally the case for such a sublime example of the essay film, a personal contemplation of his own career and his self-definition as a perpetual sceptic.
Through rhythmic montage editing and questioning of the structure and the power of the image itself, F for Fake eulogizes the image as a consistently fallible, or deconstructible form, and in true Wellesian style, given it is the form that its director made his career,cannot help but find humour within.
News From Home dir. Chantal Akerman Borne from the influence of the structuralist filmmakers Akerman encountered in New York see Michael Snow, Stan Brakhage and Hollis FramptonNews from Home is a portrait of a city as seen through the eyes of a foreigner, as she attempts to come to terms with her new surroundings and the contrast to the life she left in Brussels constantly referenced in the letters from her mother that are used to narrate the film.
Akerman films New York with the intricate eye of someone completely out of their depth, attempting to survive in a city they hardly know, emphasised by the concern of the letters from her mother. News from Home is a contemplation of the inescapability of the past and how it informs the present viewed from a perspective of awe, confusion and intense deliberation.
Godfrey Reggio Koyaanisqatsi, meaning life out of balance, is a poetic ode to absurdity constructed through cinematographic deconstructions of time and space.
By slowing down images or speeding them up via time-lapse techniques, Reggio presents the fog of modernity as a means to highlight the absurdity of purported meanings, whether it is mass production of hot dogs or humanities destructive capabilities life lived blindly, perceived without questioning, is insignificant.Chris Marker's Description of a Struggle and the Limits of the Essay Film, by Eric Zakim 7.
A Woman with a Movie Camera: Chantal Akerman's Essay Films, by Anne Eakin Moss. Marker begins his film with them (a film I have only begun here to describe and circumscribe, to debate with, to work upon, a film that shows again and again the multitudes walking, walking on streets, walking in stores, walking forward, walking to the middle of the road, but where is everyone going?), and ends his film with them, too; .
Apr 24, · Tim Rose on the relationship between the Chris Marker films Sans Soleil and La Jetée, and Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. The enigmatic Frenchman Chris Marker’s works explore ideas of time and memory, and their relationship in shaping history. His essay film Sans Soleil () presents us with a Marker travelogue exploring .
Chris Marker's Sans Soleil Because of this I found it somewhat shocking to come across not one, but two photographs of Marker at Light Industry. Chris Marker and the Image Industry. by Zachary Wigon in Filmmaking, Post-Production on Sep 12, Chris Marker.
The idea for this essay first came to me during a GChat conversation with a. An essay film on the narrativization of Siberia, it contains Marker's signature commentary, which takes the form of a letter from the director, in the long tradition of epistolary treatments by French explorers of the "undeveloped" world.
Chris Marker: Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory The "official" site devoted to Chris Marker; Chris.
shihlun: “Chris Marker & François Reichenbach - The Sixth Side of the Pentagon / La sixième face du pentagone ” Posted 5 days ago / notes / Tagged: chris marker, independent film, filmmaking, cinematography, essay film, art, inspiration, avant garde, political, minor language.