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Quote 1 When the video camera is on, I always feel that it is a kind of
‘moment of truth. Working with film never gives you this feeling of
intimacy. There are too many machines involved and too many other
people. You are alone with your video camera. It’s like a pencil. You
can say things that you could never say with film. Robert Frank
Quote 2 The filmic diary is twice in the present: it offers both the
‘now’ of the recorded images (because images are always in the present
tense), and the ‘now’ of the reflection and commentary on them. Laura
Quote 3 The past events examined in these films are not offered as
complete, totalizable, apprehensible. They are fragments, pieces of the
past invoked by memory. Like a palimpsest, the past emerges as ‘the sum
total of its rewritings through time.’ The event remembered is never
whole, never fully represented, never isolated in the past alone but
only accessible through a memory which resides ‘in the reverberations
between events. Linda Williams, 15.
Quote 4 I look at the human sciences as poetic sciences in which there
is no objectivity, and I see film as not being objective, and cinema
verite as a cinema of lies that depends on the art of telling your self
lies. If you are a good storyteller then the lie is more true than
reality, and if you are a bad one, the truth is worse than a half lie.
Select one of the quotes transcribed above. In the context of a close
reading of one or more films, discuss the implications and pertinence of
the quote for a broader understanding of the Essay film.
Your response must do the following:
1. Indicate a comprehensive and sophisticated grasp of both the quote and the film(s) being discussed.
2. Indicate that you have used the quote to formulate a relevant and
‘doable’ research question that has been explicitly identified in the
essay and answered through a close and precise reading of specific
3. Indicate that you have read and understood the weekly readings and
undertaken independent research. (Minimum of 10 references)
NB. While you can refer to films screened in class, they cannot serve
as the sole foundation of your analysis. films used in class:
(cannot use, but reccomend using films from same directors)
Letter From Siberia, dir. Chris Marker, 1958,
La Pyramide Humaine, dir. Jean Rouch
, 1959, 90 mins. Night and Fog, dir. Alain Resnais,1955, 32 mins.
2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, dir. Jean-Luc Godard, 1967, 87 mins.
The Beaches of Agnes, dir. Agnes Varda, 2008, 110 mins
Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania, dir. Jonas Mekas, 1972, 88 mins
Home Improvements, dir. Robert Frank, 1985, 29 m
The Present, dir. Robert Frank, 1996, 24 mins
Thin Blue Line, dir. Errol Morris, 1989, 103 mins
Close-Up, dir. Abbas Kiarostami, 1990, 98 mins.
Lessons of Darkness – Werner Herzog
Grizzly Man, dir. Werner Herzog, 2005, 103 minsless