Conference – Film-essay
Ana Isabel Soares
June 5, 15:00
One of the cinematographic genres that can more clearly relate to the literary language is that of the essay film. The genre of essay emerged in the 16th century, thanks to the masterful penmanship of Michel de Montaigne, who dedicated himself in the last part of his life to writing outside the constraints of the literary determinism of the time. From subjects of greater human interest to those assumed as trivial (even “futile”, in the words of the author), any topic can and did receive the illumination of the philosopher’s thought and expression. Thus, a path was opened in the History of Ideas, through which, at the same time, currents of experimentalism and poetic construction intertwined.
The essay film derives from this long and beautiful tradition. The fluidity of its boundaries makes it integrate among its definition documentaries (for José Moure, the essay is indeed a “particular modality of documentary”) and fiction films alike. Currently, the essay-film can also configure aesthetic and even political manifestos, as we will see in this presentation.