The Essay Film is the most compelling and spirited monograph to surface yet on the topic. (Rick Warner, Critical Quarterly)
For media artists, scholars and students of cinema, Corrigan's reflections offer a passionate and convincing testimony to the transformative power of the essay film. Not since I read Roland Barthes' Mythologies have I come across a book that provides such a strong articulation of the visual thinking process. (Lynne Sachs, filmmaker)
Timothy Corrigan writes persuasively and vividly in offering up this coherent overview of the sprawling international phenomenon of the essay film. By providing a concise historical context, which ranges from Michel Montaigne to Michael Moore, he allows us to see the continuum and value of this idiosyncratic and vital form of expression. (Ross McElwee, Director, Sherman's March)
Inventively and insightfully, Timothy Corrigan establishes the essay film as a cinematic form of 'thinking out loud.' His eloquent book provides something similar: it is a richly productive meditation on meanings that interweaves voices, subjectivities, and resonant reflection. This essential volume now determines future consideration of this key genre. (Dana Polan, author of Scenes of Instruction: The Beginnings of the U.S. Study of Film)
About the Author
Timothy Corrigan is a Professor of English, Cinema Studies, and History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include The Films of Werner Herzog, Writing About Film, New German Film: The Displaced Image, and A Cinema Without Walls.
About the Author
Michel Eyquem, Seigneur de Montaigne, was born in 1533, the son and heir of Pierre, Seigneur de Montaigne (two previous children dying soon after birth). He was brought up to speak Latin as his mother tongue and always retained a Latin turn of mind; though he knew Greek, he preferred to use translations. After studying law he eventually became counselor to the Parlement of Bordeaux. He married in 1565. In 1569 he published his French version of the Natural Theology of Raymond Sebond; his Apology is only partly a defense of Sebond and sets skeptical limits to human reasoning about God, man and nature. He retired in 1571 to his lands at Montaigne, devoting himself to reading and reflection and to composing his Essays (first version, 1580). He loathed the fanaticism and cruelties of the religious wars of the period, but sided with Catholic orthodoxy and legitimate monarchy. He was twice elected Mayor of Bordeaux (1581 and 1583), a post he held for four years. He died at Montaigne (1592) while preparing the final, and richest, edition of his Essays.