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Imagining Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary Paperback – September, 2005

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About the Author

Kevin Macdonald is the Oscar-winning director of One Day in September, Into the Void, The Last King of Scotland, State of Play and Eagle of the Ninth. His biography of his grandfather, Emeric Pressburger: The Life and Death of a Screenwriter, is also published by Faber. Mark Cousins is a broadcaster, historian and film critic, the author of The Story of Film and Widescreen: Watching. Real. People. Elsewhere. He writes regularly for the film magazine Prospect and is an honorary lecturer in film, media and journalism at the University of Stirling.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (September 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571225144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571225149
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #522,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Macdonald, Kevin and Cousins, Mark, Imagining Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary, Faber and Faber, 1996.
"Imagining Reality" is a book of short, sharp readings by filmmakers and critics about documentary film from its beginnings with Edison and Lumière, to the feature documentary "Crumb" (1995). After years of seeming neglect through the middle of this century, documentary film is again undergoing a wholesome reassessment by a new plethora of practitioners, commentators and academic scrutineers. We can hope that this will contribute to the long-standing integrity and innovation in this form of film, which founded the beginnings of cinema. It all began in 1895 with Lumière's patrons diving under their seats as a locomotive rushed towards them on the screen. The fiction film then took over in 1903, coincidentally, with the intervention of film editing techniques.
The literature about documentary of recent years is preoccupied by the questions of where to now, the imminent death of the documentary and how close to the "truth" is this film genre? After this questioning and the continual pushing of the boundaries of form, style and means of expression the documentary is still very, very alive. Heated debate continues for definitions of the very essence and nature of the genre. Many of the innovations introduced over the years by documentarists have been quickly adapted into mainstream television and feature films.
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Format: Paperback
This anthology includes the following essays:

"Filming Death" By Béla Balázs
"Lowell Thomas and 'Lawrence of Arabia'" By Kevin Brownlow
"Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life" By Merian C. Cooper
"The Failings of 'Berlin'" By Siegfried Kracauer
"Making 'Rain'" By Joris Ivens
"Jean Painlevé" By Raymond Durgnat
"First Principles of Documentary" By John Grierson
"Leni Riefenstahl, Art and Propaganda" By Manohla Dargis
"Worlds of Command" By Tom Waugh
"Iwaskai and the Occupied Screen" By Erik Barnouw
"'Nuit et Brouillard'" By Annette Insdorff
"Warhol's 'Sleep'" By Jonas Mekas
"Orson Welles's 'F for Fake'" By Richard Combs
"'Phantom India'" By Louis Malle
"Chris Marker and 'Sans Soleil'" By Terrence Rafferty
"Narration Can be a Killer" By Robert Drew
"Gimme Shelter" By Pauline Kael
"Editing as a Four-Way Conversation" By Frederick Wiseman
"Filming Torture Victims" By Haskell Wexler
"'Roger & Me'" By Roger Ebert
"Death of a Nation" By Ken Loach
"The Unique Role of Documentaries" By Krzysztof Kieslowski
"Werner Herzog's New Directions" By J. Hoberman
"The Unpredictable Revelations of Nicolas Philibert" By Howard Feinstein
"Clearing the Fog: Errol Morris Answers for His Film" By Livia Bloom
"L.A. Confidential" By Amy Taubin
"By No Half-Measure" By Kevin Macdonald
"True Confessions, Sort Of" By Paul Arthur
"Siamese Spin" By Chuck Stephens
"The Egos Have Landed" By Jon Ronson
"Paradocumentary in Iran" By Mark Cousins
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