Soul of the Documentary

Framing, Expression, Ethics

Ilona Hongisto

Soul of the Documentary

Ilona Hongisto

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

180 pages | 12 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2015
Paper $37.50 ISBN: 9789089647559 Published February 2016 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Soul of the Documentary offers a groundbreaking new approach to documentary cinemaIlona Hongisto stirs current thinking by suggesting that the work of documentary films is not reducible to representing what already exists. By closely reading a diverse body of films—from The Last Bolshevik to Grey Gardens—Hongisto shows how documentary cinema intervenes in the real by framing it and creatively contributes to its perpetual unfolding. The emphasis on framing brings new urgency to the documentary tradition and its objectives, and provokes significant novel possibilities for thinking about the documentary’s ethical and political potentials in the contemporary world.
Review Quotes
Laura U. Marks, School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University
"Documentary does not simply document what is; it presses reality to reveal what is to come. This thrillingly original and well-argued book brings a shot of energy to studies of documentary cinema, film theory, and the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. Ilona Hongisto shows that documentary cinema is an active space of becoming, whose power lies not in indexicality but in capture, the selection of certain aspects of the real to actualize. Her analysis of the aesthetics of the documentary frame, which captures and expresses according to the distinct operations of imagination, fabulation, and affection, will inspire scholars and filmmakers alike."
Bill Nichols, author of Introduction to Documentary
“With this book, Hongisto breaks new ground. She introduces a fresh vocabulary to explore our experience of documentary reality as a becoming, a transit zone between what is and what is not yet. There is a deep purpose here: to reconsider how we engage with and understand documentary film, and perhaps cinema itself.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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