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2007 | 60 | 84-97

Article title

Authorship in American Direct Cinema


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The author analyses the question of authorship of films produced in 1960-1963 within the framework of the Drew Associates - a company established by Robert Drew. Many sources attribute the authorship of 'The chair' to Richard Leacock, though he was not it's director. In any case Leacock is often considered to be the author of many other films produces by the Drew Associates, which he did not direct. According to the author, such 'misunderstandings' regarding authorship, are the result of the fact that in the early sixties the filmmakers were far more interested in the possibility of making a movie, rather than the question of authorship. Only in the following years they changed their point of view and the question of authorship lead to a great many conflicts between old friends. He argues that even the analysis of the opening credits of particular films does not help us to determine the author of particular movie. The additional problem is that the names of particular functions in movie making are imprecise, and that the words are associated with journalism (such as correspondent, reporter or editor). The author also points to the way in which in the literature and relevant journals, the question of authorship associated with the movement was presented. He concludes, that the 19 films produced by Robert Drew's company in this period, cannot be treated as a coherent whole, rather each film has to be considered on individual basis. In some cases the problem of authorship is so complex, that the best answer seems to be the following formula 'shared authorship, with extensive input from Robert Drew'.






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  • M. Przylipiak, Akademia Pomorska w Slupsku, ul. Arciszewskiego 22, 76-200 Slupsk, Poland


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Publication order reference


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