Personal Camera : Subjective Cinema and the Essay Film
The Personal Camera is an exploration of an elusive but more and more compelling field: essayistic cinema. The essay film, together with its cognate forms—the diary, the travelogue, the notebook and the self-portrait—is cinema in the first person. It is a cinema of thought, of investigation and self-reflection, in which the filmmaker, instead of withdrawing behind the camera, comes out into the open, to say 'I', to take responsibility, and to address and engage with the spectator within a shared space of embodied subjectivity. Authorial, experimental and radical, essayistic cinema belongs within the lineage of avant-garde and political filmmaking and responds above all to the need we feel today for more contingent, autobiographical, private forms of expression. This study provides a unique insight into an intricate but fascinating field, by engaging with the work of directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, Harun Farocki, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alexander Sokurov, Michelangelo Antonioni, Derek Jarman, Federico Fellini, Wim Wenders, Jonas Mekas and Agnés Varda.