About the author: Del Jacobs is a professor and Director of Film and Media Studies at Manatee Community College in Florida. He recently produced and directed the documentary short Secret Evidence. He has written extensively on the rhetorical and therapeutic aspects of film.
2001 0-7734-7649-0 From the seeds planted by the Lumiere Brothers and Edwin S. Porter have sprung films like The Blair Witch Project and Lone Star, contemporary representations of what can be seen as outgrowths of documentary and Western film, now reconstituted as pseudo-documentary and Neo-Western. Author and filmmaker Del Jacobs traces the emergence of these styles in recent films. The pseudo-documentary’s component of reflexive truth affords a window on the present that traditional genres and forms are less likely to open. The Neo-Western looks both backward and forward, building on American traditions steeped in nostalgia and tradition. By re-visioning traditional genres, film scholars keep alive past methodologies while inspiring and improvising future hybrids, which provide tools of construction and interpretation for both storytellers and audiences. Films explored include David Holzman’s Diary, Bob Roberts, Zelig, The Straight Story, and Lone Star.