Writing with Images: the film-photo-essay, the left bank group & the pensive moment.

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Journal Article
Journal of Screenwriting, 2014, 5 (1), pp. 59 - 84
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This article is focused on the film-photo-essay form. The first part of the article is a narrative account of my experiments `writing with images in the early and mid-2000s, using then, new digital tools to make film-photo-essays. My account reflects on how the change from analogue to digital affected my approach to photography, filmmaking and writing with images. It then looks at the example of Siberia, an illustrated script that was written following my experimentation with the film-photo-essay form. The second part of this article is a more general enquiry into the film-photo-essay form and work that combines cinema and photography. I discuss the contemporary interest in work that falls on a spectrum between photography and cinema; often referred to as `still/moving. I then focus on the `Left Bank Group, whose work often combined cinema, photography, and the literary and philosophical essay. Examples from the `cine-writing of Alain Resnais, Agnes Varda and Chris Marker highlight how Raymond Bellours idea of the `pensive moment is apt in relation to their work. I argue that still/moving forms allow more space for audience interaction and emotional response than conventional narrative cinema; and in a world saturated with information and cluttered with images, there is an important place for new pensive hybrid art forms.
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