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Essay film as a dialogical form

Önen, Naz 2019. Essay film as a dialogical form. JOMEC Journal (13) , pp. 93-103. 10.18573/jomec.188

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The essay film is one emerging genre in which the sonic elements and the editing characteristics are constructing the basis of its communication structure within and beyond the audiovisual material. This paper will enlighten the unique language and the means of communication of the essay form. In the essay film, the voice functions as a means of expression as opposed to a stack of sounds. With the support of the editing elements, the voice becomes a stylistic reflection towards the world, where the audience perceives the tone of the filmmaker. The voice is also not a rhetoric that oppresses the viewer but functions as a bridge to communicate with, and throughout, the audiovisual material as an artistic act that demands an intellectual response, like an open letter to be finalized in the viewers’ mind. The essay film does not seek to provide answers. Rather, it asks questions to the viewer, directly or indirectly, throughout the dialogue as the core of this filmmaking style. For the filmmaker to communicate with their viewer effectively, they position themselves as part of the audience. The essay film strives to go beyond formal, conceptual, and social constraint. Its structure undermines traditional boundaries, and is both structurally and conceptually transgressive, as well as self-reflective. It also questions the subject positions of the filmmaker and audience as well as the audiovisual medium itself – whether film, video, or digital electronic. This work highlights the dialogical characteristics of the essay film through a selection of essay film works with a focus on the voiceover usage and editing characteristics, to understand how a body of essayistic work addresses the viewer for a dialogical relationship.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Publisher: Cardiff University
ISSN: 2049-2340
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 February 2019
Date of Acceptance: 1 December 2018
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2019 09:33

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