Since there has been so much mention of this book, I thought some of those
in netland would like to see further what's in this book. I received news
of this and other new titles courtesy of COMSERVE.
REALITY FICTIONS: THE FILMS OF FREDERICK WISEMAN.
By Thomas W. Benson and Carolyn Anderson. Carbondale:
Southern Illinois University Press, 1989.
A history and criticism of the documentary films of Frederick
Wiseman, America's most prominent documentary filmmaker.
From the book-jacket blurb:
"In . . . close readings of his films, Tom Benson and Carolyn
Anderson explore how Frederick Wiseman has elaborated his widely
". . . This book is a celebration of Wiseman and the art of
documentary, but the authors' appreciation of Wiseman is balanced
by an evenhanded examination of his films and their social context.
They argue that there is much to admire and learn from in Wiseman's
films, at the same time describing the historical controversies
and the aesthetic, ethical, and political issues raised by his films.
They combine a detailed account of Wiseman's working methods with
a close critical examination of nine of his most important films."
Chapter titles: (1) Reality Fictions and the Rhetoric of Documentary;
(2) Documentary Dilemmas: The Trials of TITICUT FOLLIES; (3) The
Politics of the Double Bind: HIGH SCHOOL; (4) Narrative without
Story: BASIC TRAINING; (5) Psychology, Religion, and Law as Social
Order: ESSENE and JUVENILE COURT; (6) Justifying Curiosity: PRIMATE;
(7) Good Films from Bad Rules: The Ethics of Naming in WELFARE;
(8) Standing on Ceremony: Believing as Seeing in CANAL ZONE;
(9) Materialism and Symbolic Action: THE STORE; (10) Let's
Talk When I'm Eighty: Reality Fiction in Midcareer. Filmography,
Notes, Bibliography, Index. pp.: xiii + 404.
Authors: Tom Benson is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Rhetoric
at Penn State University; Carolyn Anderson is Associate Professor
of Communication at University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Southern Illinois University Press
P.O. Box 3697
Carbondale, IL 62901