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Avant-Doc: Intersections of Documentary and Avant-Garde Cinema


Scott MacDonald

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MacDonald explores the cinematic territory between the traditional categories of  "documentary" and "avant-garde" film, through candid, in-depth conversations with filmmakers whose work has challenged these categories. Arranged in an imaginative chronology and written to be accessible to any film-interested reader, the interviews in Avant-Doc chart half a century of thinking by inventive filmmakers such as Robert Gardner, Ed Pincus, Alfred Guzzetti, Ross McElwee, Leonard Retel Helmrich, Michael Glawogger, Susana de Sousa Dias, Jonathan Caouette, Pawel Wojtasik, and Todd Haynes. Recent breakthroughs by Amie Siegel, Jane Gillooly, Jennifer Proctor, Betzy Bromberg, and Godfrey Reggio are discussed; and considerable attention is paid to Harvard's innovative Sensory Ethnography Lab, producer of SweetgrassLeviathan, andManakamana. A rare interview with pioneering scholar Annette Michelson begins Avant-Doc's meta-conversation.


About the Author

Scott MacDonald teaches film history at Hamilton College and Harvard University. He is the author of several books, most recently, American Ethnographic Film and Personal Documentary.

Table of Contents


Annette Michelson

Robert Gardner 

Ed Pincus (and Jane Pincus, Lucia Small)

Alfred Guzzetti

Ross McElwee

Nina Davenport 

Leonard Retel Helmrich

Jonathan Caouette

Pawe? Wojtasik

Michael Glawogger

Susana de Sousa Dias

Alexander Olch (on The Windmill Movie)

Amie Siegel (on DDR/DDR)

Arthur and Jennifer Smith (on Ice Bears of the Beaufort)

Betzy Bromberg (on Voluptuous Sleep)

Jen Proctor (on A Movie by Jen Proctor)

Jane Gillooly (on Suitcase of Love and Shame)

Godfrey Reggio (on Visitors)

Todd Haynes

Sensory Ethnography 

Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor (on In and Out of Africa and Sweetgrass) 

Lucien Castaing-Taylor (on his installation work and on Harvard's Sensory Ethnography Lab)

Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel (on Leviathan)

Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez (on Manakamana)



Additional Information
More Information
SKU 9780199388714
Author(s) Scott MacDonald
Publisher(s) Oxford University Press
Format Paperback
Original publication date 20 Nov 2014
Number of pages 472 pages inluding 72 halftone illustrations
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