Laura Rascaroli

in How the Essay Film Thinks

Published in print July 2017 | ISBN: 9780190238247
Published online June 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190238278 | DOI:

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Essay films performatively display the process of thinking; hence, issues of textual and contextual framing are at the center of their practice. To frame is to detach an object from its background and, thus, to carve a gap between object and world. The chapter starts from a discussion of Irina Botea’s Picturesque (2012): an argument centered on the tourist image is predicated on a dual recourse to the frame—first intended as the literal operation of mise en cadre and then as narrative, ideological, and cultural framing. It goes on to show that the specificity of the essay film is to be sought not in its production of objects, but in their arrangement and that this arrangement reflects a fundamental structure of gap. The method of framing as visible search for an object is further explored via two archival essays, Mohammadreza Farzad’s Gom o gour (Into Thin Air, 2010) and Peter Thompson’s Universal Diptych (1982).

Keywords: framing; performativity; archive; Irina Botea; Picturesque; Mohammadreza Farzad; Gom o gour; Into Thin Air; Peter Thompson; Universal Diptych

Chapter.  8211 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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