Boldly signifying the cultural issues of the 1960s and 1970s in groundbreaking pieces such as Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter, and Showman, filmmakers and brothers David and Albert Maysles used an approach to documentary film that involved spontaneous observation of naturally occurring events. With no rehearsed footage and no preconceived plots, their revolutionary work eschewed the authoritative voice-over narrator, didactic scripts, and the traditional problem-and-solution format used by the majority of their predecessors in the genre and duly influenced subsequent directors in both fiction and nonfiction film. Their collaboration from 1962 until David’s death in 1987 wrought thirteen major works in which the brothers critiqued the concept of celebrity with unglamorous footage of iconic figures, explored how commercialism hinders communication, and questioned the possibility of seeing anything clearly in a world abounding with both real and constructed images. Jonathan B. Vogels outlines how the Maysles brothers blended a unique amalgam of direct cinema characteristics, a modern humanist aesthetic, and a collaborative working process that included other directors and editors. Looking at the films as both shapers and reflections of American culture, he points out that the works offer insights into a wide range of contemporary topics including materialism, celebrity, modern art, and the American family. In addition to describing the changes in technology that made direct cinema possible, Vogels provides careful, scene-by-scene analyses that allow for a consideration of the Maysles brothers’ films as films, a tactic not frequently employed in nonfiction film studies.
The Figure of the Road examines the metaphor of the road, way, or path in works of representative humanities disciplines (literature, religion, philosophy, visual art, popular culture) to show how writers and artists anticipated the dilemma known to contemporary deconstruction as the «aporia» or «pathless place.» This tradition exposes the solution advocated in Derrida's late thought - the search for the «tout autre» - as a negative theology and suppression of writing's freedom to allegorize these insoluble problems. The Figure of the Road concludes by tracing the bleak, Beckett-like implications of this freedom for curriculum and ethics in a world understood as wholly figural.
The first book to trace the rise of documentaries as mainstream entertainment. When did documentaries get glamorous? Documentary Superstars looks at the history of documentaries and traces their transition from hands-off to in your face. Exclusive interviews with Michael Moore, Morgan Spurlock, Errol Morris, George Clooney, Sacha Baron Cohen, Morgan Freeman, Al Gore, and more of the biggest names in the field show the impact of the documentary style on mainstream movies and on our society. From cinema verite to the inserted narrator, from the “balanced” point of view to the charismatic commentator (a la Fahrenheit 9/11), to the documentarian starring in his own narrative (as in Supersize Me) to filmmakers’ innovative use of cameos, pseudocameos, and archival footage, and much more, Documentary Superstars examines the way in which this evolving art form has changed—and changed us. • Newfound box-office clout makes documentaries big business • Interviews with Michael Moore, Morgan Spurlock, Al Gore, Sacha Baron Cohen, more • Includes career advice for new documentary filmmakers Allworth Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, publishes a broad range of books on the visual and performing arts, with emphasis on the business of art. Our titles cover subjects such as graphic design, theater, branding, fine art, photography, interior design, writing, acting, film, how to start careers, business and legal forms, business practices, and more. While we don't aspire to publish a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are deeply committed to quality books that help creative professionals succeed and thrive. We often publish in areas overlooked by other publishers and welcome the author whose expertise can help our audience of readers.
"This book is the first comprehensive monograph on the revolutionary filmmaking team that set the standards of contemporary documentary filmmaking. With Albert behind the camera and David on sound, the Maysles brothers were pivotal to the creation of the American Direct Cinema movement of the 1950s and 60s. The recent discovery of reels of original film negative, hours of outtake material, numerous photographs, production notes and personal and business correspondance is the occasion for this retrospective publication."--BOOK JACKET.
Selected by the Library of Congress as one of the most significant American films ever made, Salesman (1966–9) is a landmark in non-fiction cinema, equivalent in its impact and influence to Truman Capote's 'non-fiction novel' In Cold Blood. The film follows a team of travelling Bible salesmen on the road in Massachusetts, Chicago, and Florida, where the American dream of self-reliant entrepreneurship goes badly wrong for protagonist Paul Brennan. Long acknowledged as a high-water mark of the 'direct cinema' movement, this ruefully comic and quietly devastating film was the first masterpiece of Albert Maysles, David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin, the trio who would go on to produce The Rolling Stones documentary, Gimme Shelter (1970). Based on the premise that films drawn from ordinary life could compete with Hollywood extravaganzas, Salesman was critical in shaping 'the documentary feature'. A novel cinema-going experience for its time, the film was independently produced, designed for theatrical release and presented without voiceover narration, interviews, or talking heads. Working with innovative handheld equipment, and experimenting with eclectic methods and a collaborative ethos, the Maysles brothers and Zwerin produced a carefully-orchestrated narrative drama fashioned from unexpected episodes. J. M. Tyree suggests that Salesman can be understood as a case study of non-fiction cinema, raising perennial questions about reality and performance. His analysis provides an historical and cultural context for the film, considering its place in world cinema and its critical representations of dearly-held national myths. The style of Salesman still makes other documentaries look static and immobile, while the film's allegiances to everyday subjects and working people indelibly marked the cinema. Tyree's insightful study also includes an exclusive exchange with Albert Maysles about the film.