The Vision of Robert Flaherty: The Artist as Myth and Filmmaker

Richard Barsam, Author Indiana University Press $11.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-253-20460-8
In this critique of Flaherty's films, from Nanook of the North (1922) to Louisiana Story (1948), cinema studies professor Barsam sees Flaherty as a ""mystic in the modern age,'' one who habitually transformed reality in ways that defy classification in traditional nonfiction film genres. He writes, ``The world as Flaherty found it did not often agree with the world as he imagined and wanted it to be, so he invented narrative and characters (`told lies,' as Plato has it) or took liberties with facts.'' Yet Flaherty has a ``controversial place,'' as Barsam sees it, in the development of nonfiction film realism because he was unwilling to plan ahead and took little interest in the possibilities ofediting and realistic sound recording until the last decade of his career. In examining Flaherty's approach, working methods and achievements, Barsam provides a fresh and illuminating critical assessment of this influential filmmaker. Barsam is the author of Nonfiction Film: A Critical History. Photos. (February)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
Hardcover - 144 pages - 978-0-253-32074-2
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