Nonfiction Film: A Critical History

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Indiana University Press, Jan 1, 1992 - Performing Arts - 482 pages
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Nonfiction Film: A Critical Historycovers almost one hundred years in the worldwide development of the non-fiction film, from the first factual films of 1895 to the cinema of the 1980s. All the important non-fiction film movements -- the factual film, exploration film, war film, propaganda film, documentary film, compilation film, Cinéma vérité, film on art, films of the developing countries, and contemporary women's, lesbian, and gay liberation films -- are discussed, as are outstanding non-fiction filmmakers, including Auguste and Louis Lumiére, Thomas A. Edison, Dziga Vertov, Esther Shub, Alexander Dovzhenko, Alberto Cavalcanti, Robert Flaherty, John Grierson, Pare Lorentz, Joris Ivens, Henri Storck, Leni Riefenstahl, Frank Capra, Willard Van Dyke, Alain Resnais, Robert Drew, Richard Leacock, D. A. Pennebaker, Frederick Wiseman, Marcel Ophuls, Emile De Antonio, and Albert and David Maysles. More than 2,000 films are examined, many in unprecedented detail.
Richard Barsam's revised and expanded edition ofNonfiction Film: A Critical History(first published in 1973) fills the need for a one-volume critical study of the non-fiction film. It is unmatched in its comprehensiveness, the depth of its analyses of non-fiction genres, movements, directors, and films, and its discussions of historical and cultural influences.
  

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Contents

PART ONE 1 Reality Perceived and Recorded
3
The First Films
17
The Lumieres and Thomas A Edison
25
Exploration Romanticism
42
THE SOVIET NATURALIST TRADITION
55
Walther Ruttmann
61
Esther Shub and the Compilation Film
75
Empire Marketing Board Film Unit
81
PART FOUR 11 British Nonfiction Film after
241
The World Is Rich
244
Every Day Except Christmas
253
European Asian and Canadian Nonfiction
255
France
261
The Great Adventure
269
ASIA
270
American Nonfiction Film after
276

Documentary Films
87
BEGINNINGS OF THE FILM ON ART
113
Leni Riefenstahl
126
Man of Aran 1934
140
193042
146
The United States Film Service
157
The March of Time 193551
163
191418
173
Target for Tonight
181
Training Films for Civilians and the Armed Forces
186
They Also Serve
190
Combat Films
192
A Diary for Timothy
197
European and Asian Films
200
Victory in the West Sieg im Westen
204
Italy
206
Vichy Government Propaganda Films
212
The Battle of the Rail La bataille du rail
213
AMERICAN PROPAGANDA AND COUNTER
218
The Cummington Story
222
Incentive Films
229
The Battle of San Pietro
232
Robert Flaherty and Louisiana Story 1948
282
Louisiana Story
283
N Y N Y
290
Continuing Traditions
300
AMERICAN NONFICTION FILM OUTSIDE
310
National Defense
317
CANADIAN FILM
323
Warrendale
326
Tradition and Change in the 1970s
329
Christos Valley Curtain
334
Meat
341
The Sorrow and the Pity
347
AMERICAN INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING
349
AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN FILMS ON ART
353
Harlan County U S A
359
Silent Pioneers
368
Films by Lesbians and Cay
370
Works Cited
423
Index of Film Titles
441
Hour of the Furnaces La bora de los homos 373
450
Index of Names
467
Copyright

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About the author (1992)

Richard Barsam (Ph.D., University of Southern California) is Professor Emeritus of Film Studies at Hunter College, City University of New York. He is the author of Nonfiction Film: A Critical History (rev., exp. ed. 1992), The Vision of Robert Flaherty: The Artist as Myth and Filmmaker (1988), In the Dark: A Primer for the Movies (1977), and Filmguide to "Triumph of the Will" (1975); editor of Nonfiction Film Theory and Criticism (1976); and contributing author to Paul Monaco's The Sixties: 1960-1969 (Vol. 8, History of the American Cinema, 2001) and Filming Robert Flaherty's "Louisiana Story" The Helen Van Dongen Diary (ed. Eva Orbanz, 1998). His articles and book reviews have appeared in Cinema Journal, Quarterly Review of Film Studies, Film Comment, Studies in Visual Communication, and Harper's. He has been a member of the Executive Council of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the Editorial Board of Cinema Journal, and the Board of Advisers of the History of American Cinema series, and he cofounded the journal Persistence of Vision.

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