Poet Seamus Heaney wrote of the "deep and literate gaze" Robert Gardner transmits "with an intensity that passes from the documentary into the visionary" in his film Forest of Bliss. A decade and a half after its making, it is recognized as a contemporary classic of nonfiction cinema.
Making Forest of Bliss, the first in Harvard Film Archive's series "Voices and Visions in Film," presents a dialogue between Gardner and his colleague anthropologist Akos Östör, illustrated with more than 150 images captured from the film. Recalling the conditions of its filming in Benares, India, in 1985, and presenting their moment-by-moment impressions upon watching it several years later, Gardner and Östör probe questions of what it means to capture life and death on film and ponder how the filmmaker's intentions, choices necessitated by circumstance, and the serendipity of chance contribute to this endeavor. The resulting conversation is a lively exploration of issues philosophical, anthropological, and—above all—artistic.
The volume contains an introduction by philosopher Stanley Cavell and includes a newly mastered DVD of the complete film.
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Filmmaker Robert Gardner is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; founding director of Harvard Film Study Center (1957-1997); former director, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts; faculty member, Department of Anthropology and Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, 1960-2000. He is the author of The Impulse to Preserve (2006) and Making Dead Birds: Chronicle of a Film (2007).
Akos Ostor is Professor of Anthropology, Wesleyan University.
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Book Description Harvard Film Archive, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110674007875