The Essay Film: Problems, Definitions, Textual Commitments Author(s): Laura Rascaroli Source: Framework: The Journal of Cinema

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The Problems, Textual Laura

Essay

Film: Definitions, Commitments

Rascaroli

in both is encountered withever-increasing The label "essayfilm" frequency on thecinema,owingto therecent film reviews and scholarly writings prolifIn an article reflexive "new"documentaries. ofunorthodox, eration personal, dedicated to the phenomenonthathe definesas the "recentonslaughtof of perPaul Arthur essay films," proposes: "Galvanized by the intersection theessayhas emergedas theleadingnonand socialhistory, sonal,subjective and artistic innovation."1 fiction form forboth intellectual Although widely even moreso thanotherforms ofnonis under-theorized, used,thecategory of thiscontribution, the In spiteof the necessarybrevity fiction. by tracing and and film and by examining birth oftheessayin bothfilm theory history, oftheessayfilm can be shaped,some a theory definitions, existing evaluating butfascished on thiserratic fieldmade, and some light orderin itsintricate form. cinematic and evermorerelevant nating contributions thatthedefiniMost oftheexisting acknowledge scholarly it is a hybrid form thatcrosses and suggest tionof essayfilm is problematic, cinema. and nonfiction boundariesand restssomewherein betweenfiction fiction norfact, buta "an essayis neither to Giannetti, forinstance, According involving both the passion and intellectof the personal investigation is particularly instructive: of suchin-betweenness author."2 Arthur's framing is as a meeting "one way to think about theessayfilm groundfordocumenthatthe essay Nora Alterinsists and artfilmimpulses."3 avant-garde, tary, and social film it strives to be is "nota genre,as beyond formal, conceptual, film disrein the Like the Adornean constraint. essay, essay literary 'heresy' both and is traditional boundaries, transgressive structurally conceptuspects and self-reflexive."4 ally,itis self-reflective Framework 49, No. 2, Fall2008,pp. 24-47. 48201-1309. © 2008Wayne State Press, Detroit, Michigan University Copyright

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The Essay Film shareswiththeliterary thattheessayfilm is a characteristic Transgression theotwoforemost The form. as a described often is which also protean essay, rists of the essay are, as is well known,Theodor Adorno and Georg Lukács; Accordindefinable. bothdescribeit as indeterminate, open, and, ultimately, for is law formal innermost "the to heresy"5; Lukács,the essay's ing Adorno, "theessayhas to existence: its own of the conditions must manufacture essay and solidity fortheeffectiveness itself all thepreconditions within createfrom make similarclaims: forJean and essayists of its vision."6Other theorists for AldousHuxley,it"is a littheessay"does notobeyanyrules"7; Starobinski, for almost about almost for device saying Snyder, anything"8; everything erary of definitions As these is it a "nongenre."9 manyexisting examplesindicate, and are filmic and bothliterary Indeed, sweeping. vague essays simultaneously features seem to become theonlycharacterizing and inclusiveness elusiveness notableforitstendency as Renov observes:"theessayform, oftheessayistic; and dispersion) towardscomplication fragmentation, repetition, (digression, to continued in its thancomposition, rather has, history, four-hundred-years clasand of the laws ofliterary theefforts resist taxonomists, genre confounding and textual theverynotionoftext sification, economy."10 challenging termsuch as to a literary As José Moure argued,the factthatwe resort to categowhen that we experience attempting "essay"pointsto thedifficulty thatwe risk the This observation films.11 rize certain,unclassifiable flags term use the the and of stateof under-theorization form, accept the current as other films that in orderto classify labeling, the escape indiscriminately, "The remarkappears to endorse: qualitybecomes the essayistic following that resists to designatethe cinema againstcommercialproonlypossibility label of the of assigning The temptation ductions."12 essay filmto all thatis or unclassifiable or experimental non-commercial must,however,be resisuseful,and we will ted, or else the termwill cease being epistemologically litersometimes cts end up equatingverydiversefilms, happensin thecritical Sunless workssuchas SansSoleil/ ature-for FR, 1983) (ChrisMarker, instance, 9/11(Michael Moore, US, 2004), which have very littlein and Fahrenheit common aside the extensivevoice-overand the factthattheyboth present problemsofclassification. in the essay form, identified thatare mostfrequently Of all the features and characteriztwo standout as specific, and filmic, bothliterary essential, who is widely for and subjectivity. Jean-LucGodard, instance, ing:reflectivity du cinéma in consideredto be an essayistic (FR, 1997-98) director, Histoire(s) elsethatforms"; and thought thatthinks thecinemais a "form that suggested I "As a and as an himself critic, thought where,he defined essayist, specified: as a critic ofmyself ofmyself as a film-maker. [. . .] Instead Today I stillthink is subsumed."13 dimension critical a but the I make ofwriting film, criticism, of the reflective the importance In both quotes,Godard stresses component critical this Ifwe follow oftheessayform. maytakeor,in component Huxley, thebest cases, may combine,threemain poles: "Essays belong to a literary 25

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Framework: The Journal of Cinema & Media 49.2 withina can be studiedmost effectively species whose extremevariability is the of reference. There the of and the autoframe pole personal three-poled of the the the concretethere is the factual, objective, pole biographical; The critical particular;and there is the pole of the abstract-universal."14 address different is a of which for can stance, Huxley spheres, keycomponent that the most left on all essayistic forms. Indeed, important stamp Montaigne in classicalphilosophical consists thegenre,and thatderivesfrom traditions, theLatinword exagium-meaning theskeptical evaluation(from test, weight, whichself-reflexively includesthe evaluationof trial)of the subjectmatter, in the the author'ssame conclusions.The essay containsand incorporates "The essay aims, in other textthe act itselfof reasoning;as Good writes, of theprocess ofthinking" 15-which is also why words,to preservesomething of Adornocan claim that"In the essay,conceptsdo not build a continuum in a rather the does not advance singledirection, thought aspects operation, In whatways,however, does an interweave as in a carpet."16 oftheargument a similar critical from other forms artistic containing engagement, essaydiffer suchas an academic essay,orjournalistic reportage? also place emphasison itsperMost ifnot all accountsof the essayistic nature. is so important to the almost sonal, Subjectivity autobiographical "I am the matter ofmy motto that was, famously, Montaigne's myself essay in to but to order to discover he wrote not book"; things, "pretend lay open mustnow become consciousofhis As Lukács putit,"theessayist my self."17 and build something ofhimself."18 own self, mustfindhimself However,the articulation of the film a subjectivity; mere presessay produces particular film. We can safely not make an ence ofa strong does arguethat essay subject forinstance, were alwayshighly as well as FedericoFellini'sfilms, subjective make all this does not them essays-even deeply autobiographical;yet, filmmakers. theauthoris at timeslistedamongessayist Furthermore, though it could be arguedthatmanydocumentaries displaythe sourceof the act of their hence however,as Renov communication, foregrounding subjectivity; Bill Nichols's words,"standardtropesof subjective remindedus, invoking the fiction films familiar from become, in therealmofdocumentary, editing from individ. dissociated for'a social subjectivity foundation [. .] any single is withthe audience as a collectivity Here our identification ual character.' In whatways does the behindthe camera."19 rather thanwithan individual of other be film differ from that of the subjectiveforms, essay subjectivity or fictional documentary? they ofitsdeep commitments oftheessayfilm, An examination ofthetextual that it can as the of as well of structures, help to modality reading produces, and the to understand when where is of all matters. It first opportune clarify in well as the in film as of a filmic practiceof theory, essay emerges concept film of the The idea of through subjectivity filmmaking. possibility expressing film of to the in be traced back can, truth, theory-in particular, veryorigins such as some of the Frenchpioneersinfluenced by poetic Impressionism, 26

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The Essay Film to expresstheirinnerselfand Canudo, Delluc, and Epstein,urgeddirectors their dreams in their films. However,it is in thelate 1940s thatthe personal reflection on cinematic subjectivity clearlyemergesin European film theory, for the formulation of the Nouvelle Vague's auteurtheoryof the preparing second halfofthe 1950s.It is within thiscontext thatthetheory ofan essayisticuse ofthecamerafirst emerges. A Certain Tendency: The Emergence of the Essay in Film Theory and Film Practice thefirst to theterm reference GuyFihmanbelievesthat "essay"in a cinematooccurs in context Eisenstein's notes on his own and in particular work, graphic in an entry of 13 October 1927dedicatedto hisproject ofmaking a film of The " October : a new form of work-a of collection Capital presents cinematographic 1 i on the series of themes that form October."20 In in the context of 1948, Essay his keyreflection on thecinema'sability to expressideas,Astruc had already mentioned Eisenstein's ofillustrating Marx's Capital, butdid notregard project itas an exampleofthenew typeofcinemahe announced.21 Noël Burch, writon the film in also another mentioned unrealized 1961, ing essay early, project, idea ofa film based on Montaigne's JacquesFeyder's essays.22 The first contribution devoted to the essay filmis probably explicitly Hans Richter's"Der Filmessay,Eine neue Form des Dokumentarfilms," which was published on 24 April 1940 in NationalzeitungP In his article, Richter often listed as an of author announces a new type (himself essayfilms) ofintellectual but also emotionalcinema,able to provide"imagesformental notions"and to "portray a concept."Its relationship withdocumentary cinema is explored:"In thiseffort to givebody to theinvisible worldofimaginaand ideas, the essay filmcan employan incomparably tion,thought greater of expressivemeans than can the pure documentary reservoir film.Freed from external recording phenomenain simplesequence thefilmessaymust collectitsmaterial from itsspace and timemustbe conditioned everywhere; the to need and show theidea."24Nora Altercomments: onlyby explain Unlike thedocumentary which facts andinformation, theessay film, presents film that attimes is notgrounded inreality butcan produces complex thought be contradictory, and fantastic. Thisnewtype offilm, to irrational, according no longer bindsthefilmmaker totherules andparameters ofthetraRichter, ditional suchas chronological orthedepicdocumentary practice, sequencing tion ofexternal itgives free totheimagination, with Rather, phenomena. reign allitsartistic The term is usedbecause itsignifies a composipotentiality. essay tion that is inbetween andas suchis transgressive, categories digressive, playandpolitical.25 ftil, contradictory, The transgressive from the literary qualitythatthe essay filminherits essay, itsderivation from butalso betrayal ofthedocumentary, and itsability to be a 27

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Framework: The Journal of Cinema & Media 49.2 and emotionare alreadyidentified by this meetingpointbetweenintellect first contribution. fortheimpactithad oftheearlycontributions, Byfarthemostimportant film and forauthor of the critical on boththeemergent theory, category essay la caméra-stylo," the legendary is "Naissance ďune nouvelle avant-garde: on 30 March articleby AlexandreAstrucfirst Français publishedin L'Ecran Birth with the title of "The of a New Avantinto translated and 1948, English thefirst Astrucrecordsa new "tendency," Garde: La Caméra-Stylo."26 signs from theconventionality ofclassical ofa new typeofcinema,equallydistant and from the avant-garde film(whichhe comparesto filmed fiction theatre) fromthe not consider to be he does of Surrealism cinematic), (which truly visual experiments of Soviet montageand fromthe silentcinema,withits who looks at Renoir,Welles,and Bressonas good staticquality. For Astruc, he has in mind, the new cinema will be able to of what approximations in thesame way as in and efficient a manner, expressthought supple,subtle, Astrucargues,has been broughtabout by does. This possibility, literature market: whichwillimpingeon the distribution technological developments, in hence be shown now films could to largeauditoriums, production only up of 16mm "Butwiththe development was limited to entertainment products. when everyonewillpossess a projector, the day is not faroff and television, written on any subject,of any will go to the local bookstoreand hirefilms and general to and novels criticism from mathematics, form, history literary the birth of the butof is not science."27 hence, Astruc, announcing essayfilm, oflinguistic and discouran authorial cinemathatis able to producea variety to a rangeof theessayistic sive registers, one, and thatappliesitself including This is because cinema as books do. and possible precisely topics disciplines, a is "gradually becoming language": his in which and by which an artist can express I meana form Bylanguage as hisobsessions abstract however exactly they maybe, ortranslate thoughts, I to call this is would like novel. That or he doesinthecontemporary why essay has Thismetaphor theage ofcaméra-stylo newageofthecinema (camera-pen). from will break free thecinema sense. a very gradually ByitI meanthat precise from theimmefor itsownsake, from theimage ofwhat is visual, thetyranny ofwriting a means tobecome ofthenarrative, diate andconcrete demands just andsubtle as written as flexible language.28 and thatof the In orderforthisto fully happen, the role of the scriptwriter or preis no longera means ofillustrating mustmerge:"Direction filmmaker with writes film-maker/author The true act of a but a writing. senting scene, There is,ofcourse,some affinity withhispen."29 writes hiscameraas a writer "Une Certain Tendance du between this article and François Truffauťs first desauteurs of la politique his 1954 manifesto Cinéma Français," published taken as examples of the directors because not du cinéma in the Cahiers , only includesRenoir,Bresson,Cocteau, Becker, of the new "tendency" (Truffaut 28

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The Essay Film introand Gance), butalso because bothmanifestos Tati,Ophuls,Leenhardt, literature.30 auteurism borrowedfrom duce a conceptofcinematic itto an essay The first articlethatanalyzedan actualfilm by comparing de Sibérie/Letter Lettre André Bazin' s review of Chris Marker's is, probably, in Francein 1958 Observateur?1 Siberia first (FR, 1957), from published thatwe have ever seen thatLettre de Sibérie resembles"nothing Remarking Bazin calls Marker's"an essay witha documentary beforein films basis,"32 text ofthewritten hence the documented highlighting prominence by film," overtheimages.He elucidates: ithasin litis "essay," in thesamesensethat word understood The important - an essay written atoncehistorical andpolitical, erature bya poetas well.Genwith a specific orthose eveninpolitically documentaries point engaged erally, theimage is the cinematic tomake, to element) (which say, uniquely effectively The orientation of theworkis theprimary material of thefilm. constitutes with the inthemontage, thechoices madebythefilmmaker through expressed on the ofthesensethusconferred theorganization completing commentary I would theprimary itworks document. With Marker quite differently. saythat islanguage, and ofexpression isintelligence, that itsimmediate means material tothis verbal in reference in thethird that theimageonly intervenes position, intelligence.33 on the written text,Bazin goes beyond Although placingmuch importance betweentextand image,and between literature and looks at therelationship shots: I willcall newnotion ofmontage that tohisfilms Marker an absolutely brings thesenseof that as opposedto traditional "horizontal," montage playswith ofshot to shot. duration therelationship Here,a given imagedoesn't through itrefers will but rather it or the that refer to theone that one follow, preceded in someway, towhat is said.34 laterally, This lateral or horizontalmontage (which recalls Adorno's already mendoes not advance in a single tioned idea of the carpet,in which "thought allows and in which "the aspects of the argument direction," interweave"), also to thevisualcomponent: thebeautyand intelligence ofwordsto transfer from ear to eye."35 Bazin here analyzesa spe"The montagehas been forged ofa moreample pheand does notproposeMarkeras a case study cific film, ifhis comments to essayistic cinemain nomenon;however, maybe referred do which cannot Bazin's conceptionis thatofa cinema oftheword, general, to written a voice-over. a poetic,intelligent, textread by without Similarly and intellion the between Bazin places emphasis Richter, meeting "beauty who mayuse "all filmic oftheessayist filmmaker, gence,"and on thefreedom and phothatmight material images(engravings help thecase-includingstill also animated of but cartoons."36 tos), course, the It is not accidentalthat,after Richter's1940 initialannouncement, 29

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Framework:The Journal of Cinema & Media 49.2 thefirst as a prediction, thatsignaltheoncomingoftheessayfilm, twotexts are bothFrenchand linked, thesecond as a remark, although separated by a the the establishment of and to the Nouvelle interval, politique Vague ten-year . It is indeed in thiscontextthatthe essay filmtruly desauteurs emergesas a have labeled as essays a numberof earlier cinematic form, althoughcritics from different even films, geographicalareas (for instance,those of the on thecinematic Hans However,mostcontributions Richter). alreadyquoted films French directors the include by among early examples essay rightly Chris Marker,Alain Resnais,and Agnès Varda (theRive Gauche auteurs), of theNouvelle Vague's other"rive? and by one oftheleadingfigures Jeancircumstances. PierreSorLuc Godard.This maybe explainedby historical boosted the lin recalls how already a 1940 law of the Vichy government with an increase from 400 documentaries in of nonfiction France, production made duringthe German occupation to 4,000 made between 1945 and 1955.37CatherineLupton observes that France experienced a decade in in 1955 ofa new systheintroduction after flourished whichshort filmmaking as of such with the work temofgrants which, sympathetic producers together PléiFilms de la AnatoleDauman (ArgosFilms)and PierreBraunberger (Les in a situation ofincreased the debutsofmanyyoungdirectors ade), favored in his above-mentioned Bazin himself, freedom.38 creative piece on Marker, ofFrench time "the liveliest was at the stressed how short fringe filmmaking associaa close Frenchshortfilmmaking cinema."39 historically developed eitheras a resultof the influenceof tion withthe personal documentary, as in the case ofAlbertoCavalcanti^ and Naturalism, poeticImpressionism de Hours(FR, 1926) andJean Vigo's À propos butthe Rienquelesheures/Nothing as in BuñuePs Las Hurdes/Land Nice/On Nice (FR, 1930), or of Surrealism, Sea Horse(FR, Bread (SP, 1932), and Painlevé's LHippocampe/The without new the As 1932). including postwarpoetic documentaries, Lupton argues, thanks to the weremade in a climatein which, worksby Resnaisand Franju, the boundaries should one Surrealist antecedents, add, Impressionistic) (and, werefluid, and thefilmand fiction betweendocumentary (as well as artfilm) to was valued, in contrast maker'spersonalstylein the approach to reality those linked to Griand otherestablished especially documentary practices, of withina continuum flourished erson'slegacy: "In France,documentary its best as a mode of at came to be film and short perregarded production, on the world,more closelyalignedto the authoredliterary sonal reflection essaythanthesocial or legal document."40 This first-person productiondeveloped alongdocumentary essayistic d'un such as Chronique vérités side, on the one hand, cinéma experiments as filmed themselves in which the authors a Summer été/Chronkle (FR, 1961) of theself-reflective and inscribed sourcesoftheact ofcommunication process and autointothedocumentary; and, on theotherhand,thenew first-person cinema oftheParisianNouvelleVague ofthelate 1950s fiction biographical of the personal "cinema of authors."The and 1960s, withits theorization 30

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The Essay Film ofcinewriting, able to tackletopics a supple form essayprovidedfilmmakers a channel to express a and experiencesof various types.Often,it offered in committed and politicalvision of the world,as in the tradition initiated, in Pasolini and Pier Paolo Italy.It by by Godard,Resnais,Marker, particular, Solanas and in Fernando that their famous manifesto is not surprising, then, lanfilmic the essayfilmas one oftheprivileged Octavio Getinomentioned ofa ThirdCinema.41 guagesforthedevelopment was first Solanas and Getino's manifesto publishedin 1969, a date by become accepted.The same year,in whichthe term"essay film"had truly . In a chapter saw thepublicationof Noël Burch's Theory fact, ofFilmPractice as a the film Burch discusses on "Nonfictionai essay typeof docuSubjects," For relevant. current and he sees as that Burch,thefirst mentary particularly Beasts Le des betes/Blood films are GeorgeFranju's Sang ofthe examplesofessay 42 which differ from the "oldInvalides (FR, 1952), (FR, 1949) and Hôteldes but a an do not take because they "passive subject" styledocumentary" in a or and of "activetheme":"[Franju's] itself, development rather, subjectis, becomes 'active.'"43 of thistheme,and it thereby an interpretation, Franju's ofideas; they ofreality, butconflicts films proposenotan objectiverendering thesisand on nonfictionai are meditations, reflections subjectsthat"setforth films These also the verytexture of the film."44 antithesis represent through film ofa formal for Burch"thefirst use in thedocumentary preapproachthat film."45 The essayfilm, employedin thefiction viouslyhad been exclusively it is "a cinema of pure and nonfiction";46 indeed, is a "dialecticsof fiction wherethe subjectbecomes the basis of an intellectual construct, reflection, the over-allformand even the texwhichin turnis capable of engendering The accentforBurch tureof a film without being denaturedor distorted."47 attitude. on form, and on aesthetic on reflexivity, is,therefore, Definitions "film reviewers and film While some critics essay" todayuse theexpressions mannerto label an arrayof in an ostensibly and "essayfilm" unproblematic fiction and nonfiction, or in-between nonfiction verydiverseworksof either thefield.I willreview to define have attempted contributions some scholarly foursuch contributions orderofpublication, which, below, in chronological and sumand present relevant and coherent, are particularly brief, although works.48 thatalso recurin other marizearguments titled "In SearchoftheCentaur,"49 In an article PhillipLopate beginsby self-conscious betweena "reflective, thatwe mustdistinguish style" claiming tradition theessaywiththeliterary one. Lopate identifies and a truly essayistic with and Bacon. withCicero and Seneca and crystallizes that starts Montaigne "Anessay as follows: characteristics theessayfilm's He tries to define principal or intertieither film musthave words,in theform ofa text, spoken,subtitled, and must "The text a tled";"The textmustrepresent singlevoice"; represent 31

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Framework:The Journal of Cinema & Media 49.2 on a problem";"The text to workoutsome reasonedlineofdiscourse attempt it musthave a strong, morethaninformation; mustimpart personalpointof well written and interesting be as should "The text's view"; language eloquent, withthe literary All thesefeatures derivefroma comparison as possible."50 rather thanon placed on theverbalcomponent essay;theemphasisis firmly the visuals.Indeed, Lopate admitsthathe "cannotaccept an utterly pure, an For the critic, discourse."51 silentflowof images as constituting essayistic and et is Resnais's Nuit of brouillard/NightFog(FR, 1955), earlyexample essay wheelwith its"self-interrogatory dubious,ironical, voice,likea trueessayist's, Resnais's of the for the heart and tracking subjectmatter";52 searching ing a shotsform a "visualanalogue"ofthevoice's searching. Lopate also discusses his focusis always on the authorial and films; numberof otherfilmmakers theuse butalso on severalother voice and theverbaltext, including questions, between the subjectivity of the and collage and the contrast of interviews it While not of the camera. and thepredominant voice-over listing objectivity allusion to a makes a main the form's characteristics, Lopate passing among the for a definition of in is of feature that, my opinion, essay keyimportance feelincludedin a true as in thewritten conversation, film; essay"Readersmust and digresallowed to follow throughmental processes of contradiction a confilm must be "forced to the the of sion,"53 spectators acknowledge essay This happens,forLopate,through thedirect withthefilmmaker.54 versation" address. to be foundin a volumededicatedto therelationIn a brief contribution film between and literature, TimothyCorriganacknowledgesthatthe ship in thatextends as far a documentary it can be traced while practice essayfilm, in Euromore back as the LumièreBrothers, emerges distinctively postwar pean cinema,and especiallyin France.Corriganarguesforsome dominant oftheessayfilm: characteristics notnecessarily-short (2) thelackofa (1) a usually-but subject, documentary one ofsevnarrative dominant narrative (although organization mayprovide ofa personal voiceor vision, in thefilm), eralpatterns and (3) theinteraction theinteraction ofthat In theessay intheform ofa voice-over. sometimes film, orquestioning before itbecomes a testing andthereality subjective perspective follows liketheliterary theundeofthefilm, andthestructure ofboth, essay, ofthat termined movement dialogue.55 thecentrality vision,although Again,emphasisis on a personalauthorial had thanin Lopate. Corrigan is less prescriptive ofa text read by a voice-over in he charted the film in 1995 which a written of the article, essay already "in itsmultiple disto experience, evolution of the essay and itsrelationship in theessay,the experienceofreprecursivesenses:experiencerepresented and the experienceof a public receiving the a writing essay, senting subject that essay."56

32

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The Essay Film In his volume on the subjectofthe documentary, whichcollectsa number ofessayspublishedby theauthorovertheyears,Michael Renov touches on thequestionoftheessayistic a numberoftimes.Drawingon thattradition of essay writing, and reflection on the essay, thatincludes names such as and Renov focuseson the questionoftheborLukàcs, Barthes, Montaigne, oftheessayfilm, is notin conderlinestatus thatitssubjectivity and suggests withitsinquisitive trast but is, indeed,itsmarker:"Descriptive and attitude, reflexive modalitiesare coupled; the representation of the historical real is filtered thefluxof subjectivity."57 For Renov, the essay consciously through film(seen,in particular, the of Mekas's Lost, Lost, Lost, US, through example thatdocumentaries have displayed 1976) can encompass all the functions since theirorigin(although at timesover-or underfavoring one or more of them):to record,reveal and preserve;to persuade or promote;to express; and to analyze or interrogate.58 In otherwords,Renov restores to the docuof which the film is an vital ever more all those mentary, essay component, abilities and inclinations thatfora long timehave notbeen seen as partofits in thissidingwithStellaBruzzi,who also reminds us that"itis the dominion, of a documentary function to providestructure and meaning."59 Renov sugbetween the elementaldocumentary gests that "thereis no contradiction thewillto preservation, and theexploration ofsubjectivity; indeed, impulse, itis their obsessiveconvergence that marks theessayistic work."60 ForRenov, and reflexivity are thestaplesoftheessayfilm: indeed,subjectivity While alldocumentary films retain aninterest insomeportion oftheworld out and less at times with the to intent there-recording, interrogating, frequently andwith ofattention to formal issues-the persuade degrees varying essayist's inward with for Thatinward the gaze is drawn equalintensity. gaze accounts and character of André the as Tournon's digressive fragmentary essayistic, assessment ofMontaigne's canabandon itstheme at suggests: "Thought Essays itsown workings, itsacquired or anytimeto examine knowledge question itsincidental exploit potentialities."61 to Paul Arthur, in his alreadyquoted article on theessayfilm, the According elusiveness ofthegenredefeats of so much that so conattempts categorization, tributions such as thoseby Lopate and Renov "are inconclusive and tendto on issues such as the of narration or versussindiverge necessity spoken irony Arthur also to define the and that film observes form, cerity."62 attempts essays fracture oftime unities andplaceassociated with epistemologica! documentary from and Thirties New Deal tracts Sixties practices JohnGrierson through vérité. The binding of is constituted aspect personal commentarytypically by voiceover narration enhanced editorial as wellas factual selections, bymusical andis often reinforced Whenspoken devices. narintertitles, bycompositional ration is either subduedor absent, other traces of authorial may presence direct replace speech.63 33

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Framework:The Journal of Cinema & Media 49.2

thegaze:SansSoleil through Interpellation

Arthur also attracts attention to theuse of foundfootageand collage,which between the past tense of archivalimages and the producesjuxtaposition tense of the and in whichthe emphasisis on inquiry present commentary, in pastiche.In terms rather thanon nostalgia, as itis, instead, ofthequestion of authority, films "confound the ofuntroubled forArthur essay perception that a of addressprojor mode knowledge singular authority comprehensive mustproects onto a topic" ;64however,he also recognizesthat"Argument ceed from one person's set of assumptions,a particularframework of a transparent, collective4We."'65 Because of rather thanfrom consciousness, theiremphasison the first person,essaysare forArthur veryapt to express and are indeed often used women directors and positions, oppositional by artists ofcolor.66 Theorizing the Essay: Heresy , Form, and Textual Commitments in thattheyidenAll theseattempts theessayfilm are productive at defining thatare undoubtedly a numberof characteristics relevant;and, princitify and subjectivity. pally, the two primarymarkersof the form-reflectivity However,theyalso divergein some substantial ways,perhaps due to that its theliterary thatcharacterizes "heretic" factor and,consequently, essayfirst cinematic versions. Whiletheheretic aspectoftheessayshouldbe respected, and an over-theorization of the formavoided, it is important to understand an the impressionof watching why certainfilmsproduce in the spectator or a fiction, or a poem, or a travelogue. essay,as oppositeto a documentary, 34

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The Essay Film as folAt the level of textualcommitments (whichcan be summarized an about lows: "I am goingto sharewith this"), essay you mypersonalmusing reflection on a problemor setofprobis theexpression ofa personal,critical but as anonymous or collective, lems.Such reflection does notpropose itself shared Arthur "a from a singleauthorial as as originating voice; writes, quality authorial of a blatant, self-searching presby all filmessaysis the inscription matter notin orderto the ence."67 This authorial "voice"68 approaches subject an but to offer a factual documentary), present report(thefieldoftraditional rhetorical At the level of reflection. and personal, thought-provoking in-depth, an thecinematic creates in orderto conveysuchreflection, structures, essayist the distance who is very close to the real, extra-textual enunciator author; the as the enunciator betweenthe two is slight, quite declaredlyrepresents differwhen behind a and is his/her author's views, (even hiding spokesperson namesor personas). The essay'senunciator entor evenmultiple mayremaina notconceal in and does the or also physically voice-over text, appear usually voicespersonal he/she is thefilm's director. The narrator oftheessayfilm that to theextra-textual author. opinionsthatcan be relateddirectly cinema and documentaries One could argue thatfiction may also presa narrator who speak through ent strong or overtenunciatore, (who can be In the essay film, internal or externalto the narration). either however,this rather thanoccasional (as is insteadusuallythecase officchoiceis structural thansocial and collective rather tioncinema);and is personaland individual, theenunciator in traditional often Furthermore, documentaries). (as happens to a and establish addressesthespectator dialogue.The "I" directly, attempts a and ofthe essayfilm strongly implicates "you"-and thisis a alwaysclearly "You" is called upon to particithe of the form. of structures deep keyaspect that to understand reflections. It is and share the enunciatori important pate The essay this"you" is not a genericaudience,but an embodied spectator. filmconstructs such spectatorial positionby adoptinga certainrhetorical thananswering all thequestions thatitraises,and delivering structure: rather is such thatit opens up the essay's rhetoric a complete,"closed" argument, of instead the and guidingher through interrogates spectator; problems, to engage individuthe her emotionaland intellectual response, essay urges is musing author same matter the with and reflect on the the film, subject ally about.This structure accountsforthe"openness"oftheessayfilm. abouttheCD-ROM Immemory Writing by ChrisMarker(FR, 1998),Rayand rightly oftheessayfilm, mondBellourtouchedon thequestion pointedto ofdialogue: and thestructure theimportance ofthepresenceofthespectator andsuch herewith suchforce is sure: Still one thing thesubjectivity expressed makes Marker from thepowerto say "I," ofwhich ease does notonlystem the viewer is use.It springs from a moregeneral immoderate always capacity: formula he hears. Marker's what as a third towhat he sees, taken through party since But inthe modes ofconversation andcorrespondence. isexchange, elective he which ourepochagonizes, in thecommunication under he doesnotbelieve 35

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Framework:The Journal of Cinema & Media 49.2 who inthe the resides the realexchange knows that address, waythe person only to what he shows.69 in what he with himself situates to us respect says, speaks to two imporattracts our attention but persuasivereflection Bellour'sbrief who structures: theperson tantaspectsoftheessay'stextual speaksmustsituher own and must in what she says, mustdisplay ate herself subjectivity, invited to enter into a diaaddress the personwho watches,who is hence ofthe the logue. Of course,thisdialogueis achievedtextually-in negotiation is not that of a withthe text.The spectatorial embodied spectator position is thepositionof genericaudience;itis notin thepluralbutin thesingular-it and personallyaddressed and summoned. who is directly a real spectator, themode ofaddress(as well as Bellouragainnotices, Forinstance, byvarying to the image,to an extraordinary to speak, the right as by givingthe right mass ofpeople), ChrisMarkeris able to speak to thesinglespectator: evenmorefluidly oftheverbcan circulate In this persons waythedifferent and all histexts, as wellas thecommentaries and through through Immemory to"I."Thisfluvoices ofhisfilms: one,we,they, I, you, he,she, returning finally in order to movetoward oneself howto address others, knowing idity implies involved. ofeachonewhobecomes the other howtotouch andknowing Beyond ofreserve.70 ofalterity, itis a gift humanism, byan ethos guaranteed perhaps have been promptedby a CD-ROM-a textnormally Bellour'scomments more activetypeofviewingexperiencethan to producea different, thought cinematic themto Marker'sentire extends theauthor thatofa film; however, notonlybecause theinterThismoveis,in myopinion, work. fully acceptable, offered to thepossibilities ofa CD-ROM is,ultimately, alwayslimited activity in to butalso because Marker hisfilms and prearranged attempts by itsauthor, and involvedspectatorial thesame typeofmoredirect precisely approximate cinema. is trueofall essayistic achievedby theCD-ROM. And this experience in of the essay film(as well as of the literary The structure essay), other and as an individual each spectator, is thatofa constant words, interpellation; is called collectiveaudience, not as a memberof an anonymous, upon to intelto become with the active, enunciator, relationship engagein a dialogical with the The interact text. and and emotionally, position spectatorial lectually and does not asks questions because thegenuineessayfilm is in thesingular, in an alreadyquoted passage by Monoffer clear-cut answers;as suggested butto layopen my to discover in to order he wrote not things, "pretend taigne, in to emergesomewhere self."71 The essayist allowstheanswers else,precisely film is the The of the embodied theposition spectator. meaning occupiedby to has an important via thisdialogue,in whichthespectator constructed part are presented personal subjectas a subjective, by thespeaking play;meanings It is thissubjective truth. thanas objective rather move,thisspeakmeditation, As Christa of the the mobilizes that in first the spectator. subjectivity ing person of an becomes of social the expression reality Blümlinger putsit, representation 36

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The Essay Film is the condition whichit is mediated:self-reflexivity the subjectivity through the world.72 his considerations on The the which through essayist develops shared or the viewer. reflection asks to be either author's rejected by personal ofa cerin theessaystructure-the Humanismis, indeed,implicit assumption whichallows two subjectsto meet and tainunityof the human experience, The twosubject on thebasis ofthissharedexperience. communicate positions, and shape one another. the"I" and the"you,"determine is likelyto generatea more personalspectatorial This structure experience than that of a fictionfilm,which-even when it is the personal/ addressesthe spectator auteur-rarely autobiographical productof a strong in whichthe as an of a traditional and or individual; documentary, directly, as thewide or be addressed public may not be addressedovertly, else may taken the of audienceconstructed authority up by the by position generalized or who of the of a Or even enunciator. film, might spectator diary travelogue ofbeingletintotheprivate have theimpression monologueoftheenunciator is withhimself/herself. Vaughanclaimedthat"Whatmakesa 'documentary' that makes theway we look at it";73 itis thespectatorial likewise, experience an essayfilm. thatvoice is contributions Some ofthe critical exploredabove maintain with voice-over films extensive in and that only all-important theessay film, The is not some that this element are essays; absolutelynecessary. suggest is the author the the voice of is while in the fact that, obvious, literary essay the cinemais able to expressauthorial subjecrequiredelementoftheform, at different levels.As Arthur argues, rightly tivity on multiple discursive Since filmoperatessimultaneously levels-image, voiceis dispersed music-the titles, determining single, literary essay's speech, or locationof a film stew.The manifestation intocinema'smulti-channel via orsurface tomoment canshift from moment author's "voice" expressively so on.74 camera movement and montage, thatthe theinjunction but does nottakeaway from This complicates matters, that into authorial enters of a situated "voice" film is the single, essay expression visual Ifthisdialoguecan be achievedvia purely thespectator. a dialoguewith and is able to conveyan argument means,in otherwordsifthe enunciator enterinto a dialogue withthe spectator images unaccompaniedby through not we can call thatan essayfilm. However,thespectator might commentary, easilyexperiencethatfilmas an essay,in the same way in whichshe might usesbothvisualand verballanguage. that intoa dialoguewitha film enter in the Essay Film: Voice-over, The Inscription of Subjectivity and the Question of Authority Interpellation the authorial Centralto theessay film, presencecan be achieved at different to followBill Nichols's varioustechniques;forinstance, levels,and through 37

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Framework:The Journal of Cinema & Media 49.2 of the documentary, the enunciatoris most evidentin the categorization in we find a "voice-of-God" which directed mode, "expository" commentary toward theviewer. Here, The authoring ofthefilmmaker is represented presence by thecommentary willbe that andsometimes the(usually voiceofauthority ofthefilmunseen) him. In other cases such as maker orherself the a delegate, news, [. .] evening willrepresent theanchorperson, a broader, institutional source ofauthority.75 in different The enunciator is also evident, although ways,in Nichols's"interactive"documentary is mode, in whichthefilmmaker's presencein thefilm in postto thefilming, rather thansuperimposed apparentand synchronous in which production.However, this mode frequently employs interviews is seen; in thesecases,"thefilmmaker is neither seen nor onlytheinterviewee 'to speak forthemselves.'"76 At times, "Intertiheard,allowingthewitnesses tlesmay providethe otherhalfofthe 'dialogue' rather thana voice-off [. . .] thistactic 'on screen,'in thetwo-dimensional Although places thefilmmaker a sense ofabsence remains."77 space ofthegraphicintertitles, is a keypointoftheessayfilm. The presence-absenceoftheenunciator The inscription of the authorialfigure can be very direct,forinstanceby voice audible. Othertimes, makingthefilmmaker's body visibleand his/her it can be more indirect,for example throughthe use of a narrator/ or of intertitles, or of musical commentary, camera movespokesperson, etc. However,one of the key elementsof the essay filmis the direct ments, and voice-over is themostsimpleand successful addressofthereceiver, way ofactualizing suchaddress. It is necessary hereto recallthat thepervasive a presenceofa voice-over, and characterizing marker oftheessayfilm, has often been accused frequent withindocumentary discourse and theoryof producingan authoritarian a readingon the pure truthfulness of images. Stella Bruzzi, superimposing thatvoice-over receivedin studieson the on thebad reception commenting of voice-overis persuasively argues:"The negativeportrayal documentary, thatconlargelythe resultof the developmentof a theoretical orthodoxy demnsitforbeinginevitably didactic."78 In other and inherently words,"We have been 'taught' to believein theimageofreality and similarly how 'taught' to interpret voice as distorted and superimposed In thenarrational ontoit."79 BruzziarguesthatBill Nicholsin his categorization particular, adoptsa negative definition withprevailing (the "expository mode") fordocumentaries and and describes this mode as the voice-over, chronologically qualitatively oldest and most primitive. Withinthiscategory, as Bruzzi notices,Nichols withformal, includesdocumentaries open, and poetic typesof exposition, hence verydiversefilms thatare onlyheld together by theiradoptionofthe Bruzziis persuasivewhen she reminds us that formal elementofvoice-over. is often "an economic device able voice in documentary and simply practice 38

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The Essay Film to efficiently ratherthan for "tellingpeople what to relay information" and that voice can also be used as an ironicor a polemicaltool. think,"80 The use ofvoice in an essayfilm can be all thesethings-it can be contraor ironic or as well as a means to information. It is puntal polemical, convey fore and a the for author's articulation of tool also, foremost, privileged his/her or in contrast with sound and and (in conjunction thought image), hence a primelocationoftheauthor'ssubjectivity; as well as themain channel of the enunciatoriaddressto the spectator. However,owingto itsoverin theuse ofvoice-over studies, negative whelmingly reception documentary is an often-questioned such a blatant technique.Furthermore, expressionof authorial raises a whole series of which can be issues, subjectivity obviously that touched and under the of the umbrella onlybriefly upon here, go poststructuralist of conceptsof authorship. These factors cast critique potentially a shadow ofauthoritarianism on theessayfilm. And yet,theoppositecan be claimed; as Lopate remindsus, "Adorno,in The Essay as Form,'saw prenonmethodic methodoftheessayas its ciselytheanti-systematic, subjective, radicalpromise,and he called formodernphilosophy to adopt itsform, at a timewhen authoritative of had The become true systems thought suspect."81 confounds issuesof authority; and it is precisely because ofitslibessayfilm eral stancethatitis particularly relevant when the radical today, problematization of the existence of objective,permanent, fixed viewpointson the worldhas producedthe decline ofgrandnarratives and ofthe social persuasivenessof mythsof objectivity and authority. forLyotard Unsurprisingly, "theessay [. . .] is postmodern, whilethe fragment . is modern."82 It is a [. .] of in is which "there no truth, "genre absence,"83 just truth-making."84 The Place of the Essay Film It is important to stateone more timethatheresyand opennessare among the essay film's Its positioning at the crossroadsof "documenkey markers. and art film thatwe mustresistthe tary,avant-garde, impulses"85 suggests of form itintoa genre. the or,worse,crystallizing temptation overtheorizing It being informal, diverse,disjunctive, skeptical, paradoxical,contradictory, and formless, is thepostmodern theessaytruly "matrix heretical, open, free, ofall genericpossibilities."86 The essayis a fieldofexperimentation and idioto theextent thatwe can acceptEdgarMorin'scomprehensive outsyncrasy, look: "Talkingof essay film, I would rather refer to the attitude of he who but also attempt) to debate a problemby usingall the attempts (můř-essay, meansthatthecinemaaffords, all theregisters and all theexpedients."87 We should,therefore, think of the essay as a mode, whichis definedby the above-discussedtextual commitments and rhetoricalstrategies;and the in which this mode and reinis stretched, explore ways appropriated, ventedby filmmakers and videomakers. and Experimentation idiosyncrasy are intrinsic to a form thatis alwaysand necessarily The unique and original. 39

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Framework:The Journal of Cinema & Media 49.2 first Voices (RU, golosa/Spiritual episode of Alexander Sokurov'sDukhovnye for is an that uses a shot instance, fixed,single 1995), essay lastingapproxivoice-over from minutes and extensive thedirector who himself, mately forty muses about European composers.Chris Marker's LevelFive (FR, 1996), and fictional mixesdocumentary itsenuninstead, characters; subjectmatter in a femalenarrator, ciatorembodiesprincipally who ultimately provesto be a computer an avatar. Almost devoid of voice-over, image, completely JeanLuc Godard'sNotre Our Music and (FR, 2004) combinesdocumentary musique/ re-enactments of real and social fiction, events, actors;the figures imaginary is in thetextasJean-LucGodard die director, enunciator but also uses various narrators and also visual means to formulate his line of reasoning. The first film has been bracketed as a TV programand a documentary; the second alternatively as a documentary, a fiction, or an essay;thethird as a fiction its fictional status is Each embraces the textual (but extremely problematic). commitments and rhetorical of the but them articulates strategies essayfilm, in verydifferent ways. what essay is not mightfurther the definition of Identifying enlighten film. Take the case of Harun Farocki: whereas his Bilder der und Welt essay des Krieges/Images and theInscription Inschrift of the World of War(W GER, is and an other of his such as Ein works, 1989)88 truly thoroughly essayfilm, Bild/An Die (GER, 1987), or Die Image(GER, 1983), Schulung/Indoctrination Interview are far better described as authorial (GER, 1996) Bewerbungen/The documentaries. the and the a narraWorld War Images Inscription of of presents a of the who herself extentor, spokesperson enunciator, expresses through herspeechis thevocal partofa thought-provoking sivevoice-over; reflection articulated wordsand images,sound and montage.Interpellation is through in used to involve the a with the which is film, extensively spectator dialogue reflective and and The other simultaneously subjective, open experimental. threefilms are nonfictions made fortelevision-^ Image is theobservation of thepreparations and shooting ofa photograph forPlayboy IndoctriGermany, nation is theexamination ofa weeklongseminar on rhetoric and communication forexecutives, and TheInterview looks at seminarsaimed at preparing for None ofthethree films candidates job interviews. employsvoice-over. All three oftheir on a topic,a position revealthepersonalposition author number means which thatcan be inferred a of the enunciator through by intervenes on thedocumentary material. The films' for and in titles, instance, "indoctrination" the first are "an and add the two, telling: image" particular The first our to of a to the matter. attracts attention subject depth commentary the disproportion betweenthe painstakingly detailedpreparatory workand of any image,to itsoutcomeof "one image"; hence, to the constructedness mustappear as natural as thehidden,elaborateprocessofcreating a shotthat what is a definite on we see-it an The second title adds spin possible. whichis unambiguously thepositionofthefilmmaker, appraisalthatclarifies thattheauthorsees thisseminar(and we oughtto see italso suggests critical; 40

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Unanswered Notre musique questions:

derWelt und des written text: Bilder Krieges Inschrift through Interpellation 41

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Framework:The Journal of Cinema & Media 49.2 itstandsfor, as frightening ittoo),as well as thecorporate manipumentality and propaganda.Other means are also employedby lation,brainwashing, to convey his positionin these films, the director especiallymontage;it is selectedonlythose in Indoctrination Farocki that for to instance, easy argue, momentsof the seminar that were particularly tellingand revealed the busithe into of the logic of corporate espousing manipulation participants and his on the photographer ness. As forAn Image , the choice of focusing thefinal rather thanon thenaked model (as well as ofnotshowing assistants filmmaker. of the the of their efforts) ideological position conveys product However,it is not easy to maintainthatthesefilmsare essays.Againstthe for that has accompanied the documentary mythicalaura of objectivity to use Bruzzi'swords,"all docuto acknowledge that, decades,itis important willalwaysdisplaybias and be ofindividuals, because theproduct mentaries, even make an argument, All documentaries in some manner didactic."89 of look like thepure observation to make theirargument thosethatattempt Indocan unaltered yet,we do not call themall essays.AnImage, reality-and factual and TheInterview are documentaries, trination, imagesin a presenting realities and comments on them. us ofcertain bothinforms They are waythat of the films, the controlof image authorial-the sophistication quite overtly cinea coherent, all suggest and theuse ofmontage, and soundtrack, strong comes to the the enunciator maticprojectand visionoftheworld.At times, oftwo shots;but we, thespectaa cut,thejuxtaposition foreby usinga title, and engagedin a continuous feelsummoned do notnecessarily tors, dialogue witha filmmaker/essayist. of and familiar Take now a verydifferent example: the documentaries It is obvious been labeled as essays.90 MichaelMoore,whichhave frequently author. ofan overt that Moore's films are theproduct Think,as an first-person whichhas a strong 9/11, enunciator, unambiguously example,of Fahrenheit who is bynow a well-known with thefilm's realauthor, identified publicfigure. in variousways,and mostevidently is embodiedin thefilm This enunciator dominates the identifiable voice-over a narrator (Moore'sown clearly through is expressed, theuse ofirony(which butalso via other means,including film), musicalcommentary, for instance, by thechoiceofhumorous by contrapuntal fiction archival cinema).Moore is in images,and by theuse ofsequencesfrom all and as character-and as enunciator, as narrator, the filmsimultaneously This seems to real author. withtheextra-textual, thesefigures identify directly Moore the of the one ofthemainstipulations occupies image essay; agreewith hence we can easily as voice, bodily presence,or commentary, constantly, hisfilm is very and that enunciator he is a strong However, personal. agreethat reflection on a probmatter as a his Moore does notpresent subject subjective of factual events.Indeed, his is workof lem but as an objectiveinvestigation American in of "muckraking'' investigative journalism, reportage, thetradition in its brutal wellrootedin fact, and attimes in tone,often is "hard-hitting which the in which tradition of and frequently corruption"91-a exposure venality 42

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The Essay Film

9/11 Moorein Fahrenheit Michael The enunciator as investigative reporter:

His voice-over in thefirst writes journalist personand becomes a personality. is intended fora generic, broad audience;itis not a dialogue,in commentary in thereflection and in is called upon to participate whichthesinglespectator theconstruction ofmeaning in an idiosyncratic waythat maywellbe different from thatof any othermemberoftheaudience.In Fahrenheit 9/11, spectators an discover and progressively thefacts, to watchand listen, are askedto follow film's rhetorical strucholdsthekey.The to whichthe author truth, objective a topicand is that ofjournalistic ture investigates exposé,in whichthereporter and aims to convincethe audior controversy discovers scandal,corruption, to whichmayinducecritics The ambiguity, ence oftheir historicity/factuality. talkofessay, attheoppositeofMontaigne's that, essaylaysin thefact precisely The text, withthespectator. to discoverthings" ist,Moore "pretends together told where is is notopen,butclosed:at all times, thespectator however, clearly For to believe. what to find what tobe, whatto feel, how to react, instance, out, musicis used to induceus to laughat GeorgeW. Bush'sintelleccontrapuntal musicis adoptedto make us participate sentimental tualpaucity; emotionally 1.Ifwe wantto consider of of9/1 inthedespair offamily thevictims first-person ifwe is an essay;however, 9/11 as essay,thenFahrenheit journalistic reportage is not. it the lines to think ofan essayaccording exploredabove, sitedat thecrossroads The essayfilm is an open fieldofexperimentation, As film. offiction, and experimental nonfiction, Corriganargued,however, needs to be distinguished thisgenre of filmmaking "despiteoverlappings, one."92 and an a tradition from documentary avant-garde/experimental its own film the at a place. occupies sitting crossroads, essay Although 43

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Framework:The Journal of Cinema & Media 49.2 I was privileged to receiveeloquentand As partoftherefereeing process, before his untimely from Paul comments Arthur, passing. shortly insightfiil is dedicatedto him. This article Ireland . infilmstudies at University issenior lecturer Laura Rascaroli Cork, College to From Moscow in collaboration withEwa Mazierska, She is theauthor, of Cinema (2003), The Cinema ofNanni Madrid:EuropeanCities,Postmodern New Europe: Postmodern Moretti: Dreams and Diaries (2004), andCrossing The Personal Traveland the European Road Movie (2006). Her monograph, Camera: The Essay Film and SubjectiveCinema, isforthcoming fromWallPress. flower Notes Film FromAlainResnais to MichaelMoore," 1. Paul Arthur, "EssayQuestions: 1 no. 58. Comment 39, (2003): Form : Essays onFilm Godard andOthers 2. LouisD. Giannetti, (Rutherford, NJ:Fair26. Dickinson Press, 1975), leigh University 62. 3. Arthur, "Essay Questions," Criin theEssayFilm," NewGerman "ThePolitical 4. NoraAlter, Im/perceptible 171. 68 Summer no. 1996): tique, (Spring/ trans. toLiterature, vol. 1,ed. Rolf Notes 5. Theodor Tiedemann, Adorno, Shierry 23. Columbia Weber Nicholsen Press, 1991), (NewYork: University in SoulandForm, trans. andForm oftheEssay," 6. Georg "On theNature Lukács, 11. Merlin AnnaBostock Press, 1974), (London: in "Un Artde l'équilibre," 7. Starobinski, quotedin SuzanneLiandrat-Guigues, and MurielleGagnebin ed. SuzanneLiandrat-Guigues L'Essaiet le cinema, Vallon, 2004),8. (Seyssel: Champ v. andBrothers, Collected 8. Aldous 1960), (London: Huxley, Essays Harper andthe : Tragedy the 9. John , Satire, Prospects Theory ofGenre Essay, ofPower Snyder, 12. Press ofKentucky, 1991), (Lexington: University ofMin10. Michael Renov,The Documentary (Minneapolis: University Subject ofthe nesota Press, 2004),70. in L'Essai etlecinema, ed. de l'essaiau cinéma," 11. JoséMoure, "Essaide définition andGagnebin, 25-40. Liandrat-Guigues 10(my "UnArt de l'équilibre," 12. Liandrat-Guigues, translation). onGodard : Critical inJeanNarboni andTomMilne, 13. Godard, eds.,Godard quoted 171. & Warburg, Godard Seeker 1972), Jean-Luc (London: Writings by v. Collected 14. Huxley, Essays, the 15. Graham (London:Routledge, Good, TheObserving Rediscovering Self: Essay 20. 1988), 160. toLiterature, 16. Adorno, Notes Charles 3rd.ed. trans. The 17. Michelde Montaigne, Cotton, Essays ofMontaigne, et 254. M. Printed for al., 1700), (London: Gillyflower oftheEssay," 15. andForm 18. Lukács, "On theNature xviii. the 19. Renov, The Documentary, Subject of et ses transfor"L'Essaicinématographique in GuyFihman, 20. Eisenstein, quoted 44

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The Essay Film in L'Essaietк cinema, ed. Suzanne mations Liandrat-Guigues expérimentales," 41. andMurielle Gagnebin, Garde:La Caméra-Stylo" "TheBirth ofa NewAvantAlexandre (1948), Astruc, AnIntroduction andReader in FilmandLiterature: Corrigan (Upper by Timothy NT:Prentice-Hall, SaddleRiver, 1999),160. Practice HelenR. Lane (Princeton, Film NoëlBurch, , trans. NJ:PrinceTheory of 162. tonUniversity Press, 1981), in desDokumentarfilms" "DerFilmessay: EineneueForm HansRichter, (1940), and ed. Christa : Texte Schreiben Bilder zum Film, Blümlinger Sprechen essayistischen Wulff Constantin Sonderzahl, 1992),195-98. (Wien: in Films Films Films: Richter, Propaganda Compilation Beget from quoted JayLeyda, Hill& Wang, 31. toDrama 1964), (NewYork: Arbor: 1967-2000 German NoraAlter, Cinema, (Ann Projecting History: Nonfiction 7-8. of Press, 2002), University Michigan ofa NewAvant-Garde: La Caméra-Stylo." "TheBirth Astruc, Ibid.,159. Ibid. ofthepen and ofwriting, and suppleness Ibid.,161.The idea oftheflexibility and in the cinema a similar and the dreamto attain through lighter agility first areofcourse atthebase ofthelinguistic developments cheaper equipment, andthen introduced Neorealism taken up bytheNewWavesandby byItalian cinéma vérité. inMovies "ACertain oftheFrench Cinema" Truffaut, (1954), François Tendency of California vol. 1 (Berkeley: ed. Bill Nichols, andMethods, Press, University 224-37. 1976), no. Dave Kehr, Film trans. André "Bazinon Marker" Commenti, Bazin, (1958), 4 (2003):44-45. 44. Ibid., Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. 45. Ibid., ed. Ian Aitken inEncyclopedia the Cf.Pierre Film, Sorlin, "France," Documentary of 434-42. & Francis, 2005), (London: Routledge/Taylor Future Reaktion the Chris Marker: Memories Catherine Books, (London: of Lupton, 2006). "Bazinon Marker," 44. Bazin, film on theshort do These andtheaboveobservations Chris Marker 48. , Lupton, that in nature notsuggest that are duration; rather, sub-feature-length essays by with docuand itscombination freedom theartistic guaranteed by theshort, ofthe favored theemergence in theabove-described French context, mentary form. essayistic in a Third Cinema" "Towards SolanasandOctavio Cf.Fernando (1969), Getino, of California andMethods, vol. 1,ed. Bill Nichols Movies (Berkeley: University 44-64. Press, 1976), and some of Giuliano later Among exampleshe listsRosi's 1962 Salvatore his 1962Vivre Godard's sa vie. films, including 159. Film Practice, Burch, Theory of 45

21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29.

30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40.

41. 42. 43.

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Framework:The Journal of Cinema & Media 49.2 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid.,164. Ibid.,162. in L'Essai included etlecinema, ed. Liandratin someoftheessays Forinstance, Tentativas entorno al cineand in La forma and Gagnebin, quepiensa: Guigues de ed. AntonioWeinrichter (Pamplona:Punto de Vista/Gobierno ensayo, Navarra, 1997). In Totally, Anchor, 1998). Tragically byPhillip Lopate(Amsterdam: Tenderly, Ibid.,283-84. 283. Ibid., Ibid.,286. 282. Ibid., 286. Ibid., Saddle : AnIntroduction andReader Film andLiterature Corrigan, (Upper Timothy 58. River, 1999), NJ:Prentice-Hall, ontheMargins," Iris: "TheCinematic AJournal Essay:Genre Corrigan, Timothy 19(Spring onImage andSound 1995):87. ofTheory 70. The the Renov, Subject of Documentary, Ibid.,74-85. Stella New Bruzzi, (London: 2006),27. Routledge, Documentary 81. the The Renov, Subject of Documentary, Ibid.,85. 59. Arthur, "Essay Questions," Ibid. Ibid. Ibid.,60. of AgnèsVarda,YvonneRainer, theexamples Arthur JillGodmilow, brings RaoulPeck. Patricio Marlon Akomfrah, Guzman, Riggs, John NgoziOnwurah, 59. Arthur, "Essay Questions," isusedas a metaphor for the the term "voice" the Hereandover following pages, voice-over canbe oneof andnotas "voice-over" author's (although subjectivity, sucha subjective, themeans toexpress viewpoint). personal in Qu'estretour/The "Le livre, aller; Book,BackandForth," Bellour, Raymond Marker de Chris A propos du CD-ROM madeleine? cequ'une by Laurent Immemory Editeur/Centre PomYvesGevaert Bellour Roth andRaymond (Paris: Georges 111. 1997), pidou, Ibid. 254. The Montaigne, Essays of Montaigne, in L'Essai etlecinema, ed. Liandratles "Lire entre Christa images," Blümlinger, 56. and Guigues Gagnebin, ofCalifornia For Twelve Dai Vaughan, University (Berkeley: Documentary: Essays 84. Press, 1999), 59. Arthur, "Essay Questions," inDocumentary : Issues BillNichols, andConcepts (Bloomington: Representing Reality 37. Indiana Press, 1991), University 54. Ibid., 55. Ibid.,

49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69.

70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 46

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The Essay Film 78. Bruzzi, New , 47. Documentary 79. Ibid. 80. Ibid.,50. 81. Lopatě,Totally, 282. Tenderly, Tragically, Condition onKnowledge, trans. 82. Jean-François The Postmodern : A Report Lyotard, Minnesota of Geoff Brian Massumi and Bennington (Minneapolis: University 81. Press, 1984), 151. 83. Snyder, Power, Prospects of 84. Ibid.,200. 59. 85. Arthur, "Essay Questions," UniThe Barthes : The as Reflective Text 86. Réda Bensmaïa, Effect Essay (Minneapolis: ofMinnesota 92. Press, 1987), versity in inGiovanni 87. Morin, "Film Intervista a Edgar Morin," Maderna, saggio: quoted Edizioni Filmmaker 5 Doc,ed. Silvano Cavatorta andLuca Mosso(Milan: A&M, 4 (my 1996), translation). a Revolution 88. Thesamecanbe saidforVideogramme einer Revolution/Videogrammes of verlassen dieFabrik/Workers the (DE, 1995). (DE, 1992)andArbeiter Leaving Factory New 36. 89. Bruzzi, Documentary, inhisalready 90. Forinstance article. byArthur quoted Bedford/St. 91. EllenF. Fitzpatrick, Articles : Three Landmark ed.,Muckraking (Boston: 1. Martin's, 1994), 92. Corrigan, "TheCinematic 89. Essay,"

47

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