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Bringing the Nature / Culture Nexus to the Documentary Feature Film 
André Singer (SOAS)
Clive Oppenheimer (University of Cambridge)
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Friday 18 September, 15:00-16:30

Short Abstract:

This session explores the role and impact of documentary feature film in representing anthropological and geographical themes for a wide international audience. It will include a presentation on two collaborative film ventures with Werner Herzog: INTO THE INFERNO (Netflix 2016) and FIREBALL: VISITORS FROM DARKER WORLDS (Apple TV+ 2020). On both films Professor Clive Oppenheimer was co-director with Werner Herzog and André Singer was a producer.

Long Abstract

This session will begin with a presentation on the making of two documentary features: INTO THE INFERNO (Netflix 2016) and FIREBALL: VISITORS FROM DARKER WORLDS (Apple TV+ 2020). Both films explore nature/culture entanglements, drawing on theological, mythological and apocalyptic discourses as well as scientific and cosmological understandings of geophysical and celestial phenomena. It will be followed by a conversation between filmmakers Andre Singer and Clive Oppenheimer on geographical and anthropological representations in cinema, before opening the discussion ‘to the floor’. The session will consider where such films are situated between ‘edutainment’ and ‘intellectual survey’ and draw on wider themes and experiences from ethnography, visual sociology and documentary filmmaking.