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Rhetoric and Representation in Nonfiction Film (Cambridge Studies in Film) Hardcover – May 13, 1997

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Editorial Reviews


"This book deserves a large audience and should become a benchmark for our thinking about non-fiction film." --Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television

"Plantinga's clear and vigilant survey helps us to see more clearly where the most fruitful lines of new inquiry lie." --Media, Culture, and Society

". . . the best starting point thus far for any reader interested in understanding the basic issues of documentary film theory."
--Film Quarterly --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Rhetoric and Representation in Nonfiction Film examines the basic theoretical issues that g round any in-depth study of nonfiction film and video. Carl Plantinga surveys the functions of moving images in visual communication and shows how nonfiction discourse presents information through structural and stylistic analysis, among other topics. Plantinga also examines several fundamental philosophical issues that are at the heart of nonfiction representation and communication, including the nature and functions of objectivity, reflexivity, and truth-telling.

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More About the Author

Carl Plantinga, Professor of Film and Media at Calvin College, writes about topics in film and media history and theory.

As president of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image, Plantinga is interested in the psychology of the moving image media. He researches the ways in which moving image media elicit emotion and affect, and how that relates to aesthetics, morality, and ideology. Both "Moving Viewers: American Film and the Spectator's Experience" (2009) and "Passionate Views: Film, Cognition, and Emotion" (1999) examine film and emotion.

Plantinga also writes about the theory and history of documentary. His first book, "Rhetoric and Representation in Nonfiction Film"(1997) was called in Film Quarterly "the best starting point thus far for any reader interested in understanding the basic issues of documentary film theory." As of 2010 the book is available in paperback, and is being translated into Chinese. Plantinga has also published numerous essays and book chapters about the documentary.

Plantinga is trained in philosophy, and recently co-edited (with philosopher Paisley Livingston), "The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film" (2009), now available in paperback.

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