3.Essay films are visual thinking.

Noel Burch, “Nonfictional Subjects”, in THEORY OF FILM PRACTICE, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1981. (examines the history of the non-fictional film and centers on two promising contemporary forms, the essay film and the ritual film. This book is one of my most used reference books as a filmmaker—even though Birch, in his introduction, renounces much of it .)

4.Essay films reverse film production: the images come first, the script, last.


Select programme events and screenings:
Friday 27 March
ICA, Cinema 1, 6.30pm Book here
A special presentation of three essay films by The Otolith Group.
In the Year of the Quiet Sun, 2013, 33 minutes
Anathema, 2011, 37 minutes,
People to be Resembling, 2012, 21 minutes.
Introduced by Kodwo Eshun.


7.A road movie has outer movement, an essay film has inner movement.

8.An essay film is the opposite of fly on the wall.

Both Patrick and Volker expressed a preference for the above video over the one that was published on Sight & Sound. For comparison, here is my video essay on essay films for Sight & Sound: