What is non-fiction cinema? : on the very idea of motion picture communication /
Trevor Ponech.
Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, c1999.
vii, 302 p.
0813367034 (alk. paper)
More Details
Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, c1999.
0813367034 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1999-12-01:
Ponech's volume is part of the recent wave of cognitivist theorizing about film, and indeed he makes particularly heavy use of Gregory Currie's Image and Mind: Film, Philosophy and Cognitive Science (CH, Sep'96). Like Currie, Ponech (English, McGill Univ.) resists much of recent film theory, professing that he "seriously doubt[s] that all (non-fictional) movies have ideological messages and/or any automatic ideological consequences like 'subject positioning' and the stultification of the masses by the illusion of presence." He seeks to correct recent scholarship, which emphasizes "the risk, even the necessity of distortion, error and illusion" in nonfiction film. Ponech asserts that there is a firewall rather than a permeable membrane between the image and reality--that in the cinema, one always knows that what one is watching is merely a picture. Perhaps Ponech's most interesting and unusual claim comes in his suggestion that only the filmmakers intent distinguishes documentary or nonfiction film from fiction film--that nonfiction film is simply film meant to be taken as true. Ponech's argument is often difficult and elliptical, so undergraduates will find the book a difficult and obtuse read. Readers interested in the subject should probably start with Currie, even though Currie sets himself a broader canvas than merely nonfiction film. Graduate and faculty collections. K. S. Nolley; Willamette University
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Choice, December 1999
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Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Notesp. 7
What is Non-Fiction Cinema?p. 8
Notesp. 36
Representation and Depictionp. 40
Notesp. 69
What About Reality?p. 73
Notesp. 95
Plans for Non-Fictionp. 98
Notesp. 114
Planning for Contentp. 116
Notesp. 140
Planning for Forcep. 143
Notesp. 171
Perceptual Access to Cinematic Meaningp. 175
Notesp. 206
Aspects of Interpretationp. 213
Notesp. 242
The Truth of Non-Fictionp. 246
Notesp. 276
Works Citedp. 281
Indexp. 293
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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