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What Is Cinema? (2013)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History | 6 June 2014 (USA)
1:31 | Trailer
Amidst a constant stream of hundreds of film clips, dozens of filmmakers voice their opinions on the titular question while primarily looking beyond the Hollywood mainstream to independent, experimental, documentary and avant-garde films.


Chuck Workman


Chuck Workman (story), Chuck Workman



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Credited cast:
Chantal Akerman ... Self
Robert Altman ... Self (archive footage)
Peter Bogdanovich ... Self (voice) (archive footage)
Robert Bresson ... Self (archive footage)
Costa-Gavras ... Self
Rob Epstein ... Self
John Ford ... Self (archive footage)
James Franco ... Self
Alfred Hitchcock ... Self (archive footage)
Ken Jacobs Ken Jacobs ... Self
Abbas Kiarostami ... Self
Akira Kurosawa ... Self (archive footage)
Mike Leigh ... Self
Sidney Lumet ... Self (archive footage)
David Lynch ... Self


Using the words and ideas of great filmmakers, from archival interviews with Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Bresson to new interviews with Mike Leigh, David Lynch, and Jonas Mekas, Oscar-winning filmmaker Chuck Workman shows what these filmmakers and others do that can't be expressed in words - but only in cinema. Written by Anonymous

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Not Rated

Did You Know?


Features Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy (1998) See more »


Finale from 'Fahrenheit 451'
Written by Bernard Herrmann
Performed by Bernard Herrmann & Elmer Bernstein
courtesy of Milan Records
See more »

User Reviews

Intelligent and sweetly subversive film
30 January 2019 | by michaelberanek275See all my reviews

With a relaxed and pensive pace, this didactic doc manages to cover in a fairly random way a good deal of this massive topic with grace and colour in 90mins. I'm quite shocked to find how few people have reviewed this on ImDb. I caught it on Talking Pictures UK freeview TV. Of course the answer to the titular question is not the point - to me cinema is really everything - our dreams, our reality, an exploration of our very our consciousness as human beings. The film intellectual Bazin's thoughts are weaved through the narrative. It does manage to disrupt the commercial functional intention of cinema and allows an obscure peek at familiar and some really weird clips. I loved Hitchcock saying about the content of film that one shouldn't care about whether the painter's apple included in a picture tasted sour or sweet - that it was way the way it was portrayed and the emotion that the whole composition evoked that mattered. But cinema is so varied, so we have more direct content-mongers like Michael Moore here too...truly thought-provoking stuff.

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6 June 2014 (USA) See more »

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What Is Cinema? See more »

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Wheelhouse Creative See more »
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