By Betsy A. McLane
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The fourth version of this vintage source is up-to-date to demonstrate the latest ways in movie concept, together with semiotic and structuralist imperatives, Marxist ancient and Freudian psychoanalytic research, and feminist and deconstructionist perspectives, and every part has been revised to teach the effect of recent considering on issues akin to movie language, the movie medium, and the movie artist.
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Extra info for A New History of Documentary Film: Second Edition
Nanook of the North is a recognizable name even in the twenty-first century, and the idea of observing and recording people in their own milieu with a sympathetic eye continues to be a vital strand in documentary-making. Many also cite Nanook of the North as being among the first ethnographic films, and as anthropologists continue debate about the role of filmmaking (and ethnography) in their discipline, no one doubts that Flaherty holds a seminal place in it. The main strength of Flaherty’s vision for ethnographic filmmaking lies in his refusal to pass judgment on his subjects.
Like many artists of substance this was essentially one thing reiterated throughout a career. The great French director Jean Renoir once remarked that a filmmaker spends his whole life making one film over and over again. What Flaherty said throughout his work was that humankind has an innate dignity, and that the world’s meaning and beauty dwell in its patterns of existence. The Flaherty Legacy Though no school or movement ever formed around him, others who worked along similar lines have continuously followed Flaherty’s example.
The main strength of Flaherty’s vision for ethnographic filmmaking lies in his refusal to pass judgment on his subjects. If his perspective sometimes sees quaint, it reflects more about the artistic milieu of the turn of the nineteenth century and perhaps the Pre-Raphaelites. Although this movement pre-dated Flaherty’s work, it was the atmosphere in which his parents and Frances’ parents lived. Since almost all of Flaherty’s youth was spent in the wilderness, he was isolated from artistic trends in the early twentieth century and developed an aesthetic that reflected an earlier time.