The Cinema of Me

The Cinema of Me : The Self and Subjectivity in First Person Documentary

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When a filmmaker makes a film with herself as a subject, she is already divided as both the subject matter of the film and the subject making the film. The two senses of the word are immediately in play - the matter and the maker - thus the two ways of being subjectified as both subject and object. Subjectivity finds its filmic expression, not surprisingly, in very personal ways, yet it is nonetheless shaped by and in relation to collective expressions of identity that can transform the cinema of 'me' into the cinema of 'we'. Leading scholars and practitioners of first-person film are brought together in this groundbreaking collection to consider the theoretical, ideological, and aesthetic challenges wrought by this form of filmmaking in its diverse cultural, geographical, and political contexts.

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  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 154.94 x 233.68 x 17.78mm | 498.95g
  • Columbia University Press
  • New YorkUnited States
  • English
  • black & white halftones
  • 0231162154
  • 9780231162159
  • 514,503

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Author Information

Alisa Lebow is a Reader in Film Studies at the University of Sussex. Her research is generally concerned with issues related to documentary film, recently to do with questions of the political in documentary. Her book First Person Jewish (University of Minnesota Press, 2008) explores aspects of the representation of self and subjectivity in first person film. She is also a filmmaker whose films include Outlaw (1994), Treyf (1998) and For the Record: The World Tribunal on Iraq (2007).

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Review quote

Global in its reach, sensitive to the political valences of self-inscription, ground-breaking in its attention to new formats and technologies, The Cinema of Me offers unmistakable proof that the first person film is a vital strand of contemporary media production. Once thought to be the refuge of the privileged, self-absorbed Western-man, autobiography exists today as a ubiquitous act of self-expression and political agency. Spanning a breadth of modalities--including the essay film, i-movie, cinematic self-portrait, home movie remix, blog--The Cinema of Me testifies to the power of media practices that can transform private lives into social subjectivities. -- Michael Renov, University of Southern California

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