The Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film is a fully international reference work on the history of the documentary film from the Lumière brothers' Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory (1885) to Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 (2004). This Encyclopedia provides a resource that critically analyzes that history in all its aspects. Not only does this Encyclopedia examine individual films and the careers of individual film makers, it also provides overview articles of national and regional documentary film history. It explains concepts and themes in the study of documentary film, the techniques used in making films, and the institutions that support their production, appreciation, and preservation.
Probably the most prominent living filmmaker, and one of the foremost directors of the postwar era, Jean Luc-Godard has received astonishingly little critical attention in the United States. With Speaking about Godard, leading film theorist Kaja Silverman and filmmaker Harun Farocki have made one of the most significant contributions to film studies in recent memory: a lively set of conversations about Godard and his major films, from Contempt to Passion. Combining the insights of a feminist film theorist with those of an avant-garde filmmaker, these eight dialogues–each representing a different period of Godard's film production, and together spanning his entire career–get at the very heart of his formal and theoretical innovations, teasing out, with probity and grace, the ways in which image and text inform one another throughout Godard's oeuvre. Indeed, the dialogic format here serves as the perfect means of capturing the rhythm of Godard's ongoing conversation with his own medium, in addition to shedding light on how a critic and a director of films respectively interpret his work. As it takes us through Godard's films in real time, Speaking about Godard conveys the sense that we are at the movies with Silverman and Farocki, and that we, as both student and participant, are the ultimate beneficiaries of the performance of this critique. Accessible, informative, witty, and, most of all, entertaining, the conversations assembled here form a testament to the continuing power of Godard's work to spark intense debate, and reinvigorate the study of one of the great artists of our time.
In his recent exhibition at Vienna's Museum of Modern Art, Harun Farocki showed two split-screen video installations: "Comparison via a Third" looks at international methods of brick-making and "Eye/Machine" takes on contemporary surveillance technology. Farocki's work was also recently seen at Documenta XII, 2007.
This book brings together two major filmmakers-French New Wave master Jean-Luc Godard and German avant-gardist Harun Farocki-to explore the fundamental tension between theoretical abstraction and the capacities of film itself, a medium where everything seen onscreen is necessarily concrete. Volker Pantenburg shows how these two filmmakers explored the potential of combined shots and montage to create "film as theory."