By James Naremore
In 1895, Louis Lumière supposedly acknowledged that cinema is "an invention with out a future." James Naremore makes use of this mythical comment as a place to begin for a meditation at the so-called demise of cinema within the electronic age, and as a fashion of introducing a wide-ranging sequence of his essays on videos previous and current. those essays comprise discussions of authorship, edition, and performing; commentaries on Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Vincente Minnelli, John Huston, and Stanley Kubrick; and studies of more moderen paintings through non-Hollywood administrators Pedro Costa, Abbas Kiarostami, Raúl Ruiz, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. very important subject matters recur: the family among modernity, modernism, and postmodernism; the altering mediascape and dying of older applied sciences; and the necessity for powerful serious writing in an period whilst print journalism is waning and the arts are devalued. The ebook concludes with essays on 4 significant American movie critics: James Agee, Manny Farber, Andrew Sarris, and Jonathan Rosenbaum.
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Extra info for An Invention Without a Future: Essays on Cinema
Until this point we had worked exclusively in ﬁlm. ) Originally called Planes, Trains, and Buses, the ﬁlm was conceived as a trip across country using three modes of transportation. Thematically, we envisioned a meditation on class structure in the United States. Research and Evaluate Your Subject 29 We started by researching routes and regional weather patterns. We made contact with the transportation companies. We got written permission from Greyhound to ﬁlm on their buses and from Amtrak to shoot on the train.
The Idea 11 Just because documentaries deal in real people and real events, the stories they tell are no less constructed than those of narrative ﬁction. We think of the kind of ﬁlmmaking we are concerned with here as narrative nonﬁction. ” This describes a subject. ” This implies a story. The big difference is that a story has structure and characters. Humans are storytelling animals, and stories have a basic structure. Does your idea have the potential to tell a good story? Can you imagine your idea as a ﬁlm with a beginning, a middle, and an end?
Besides Vito’s vast inventory, we pulled favorite ﬁlms from our own memories. Arnold was a fount of Hollywood knowledge and contributed a number of titles, as did producer Michael Lumpkin (who was director of programming at the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay International Film Festival) and our assistant editor Jeffrey Schwarz, who knew about an astonishing number of obscure ﬁlms that none of the rest of us had heard of. Archivists in stock footage libraries would become sources for relevant scenes in little-known early silent ﬁlms—examples that even Vito had never come across.