Regarding the real

Cinema, documentary, and the visual arts

By Des O'Rawe

Regarding the real


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2720-4
  • Pages: 208
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £13.99
  • Published Date: May 2018
  • BIC Category: PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, The arts / Documentary films, Film and Media, Documentary films, Film history, theory & criticism


Regarding the real develops an original approach to documentary film, focusing on its aesthetic relations to visual arts such as animation, assemblage, photography, painting and architecture. Throughout, the book considers the work of figures whose preferred film language is associative and fragmentary, and for whom the documentary is an endlessly open form; an unstable expressive phenomenon that cannot help but interrogate its own narratives and intentions.

Combining close analysis with cultural history, the book re-assesses the influence of the modern arts in subverting structures of realism typically associated with the documentary. In the course of its discussion, it charts a fascinating path that leads from Len Lye to Hiroshi Teshigahara, and includes along the way figures such as Joseph Cornell, Johan van der Keuken, William Klein, Jean-Luc Godard, Jonas Mekas and Raymond Depardon.


Des O'Rawe teaches Film Studies in the School of Creative Arts, Queen's University of Belfast

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