Semiotics and Documentary Film
Semiotics and Documentary Film: The Living Sign in the Cinema engages with very vital problems posed by Peirce's philosophy in an innovative and inter-disciplinary fashion by examining how documentary film practice can engage with the question of emergent human agency within a wider biosphere shared by human animals and non-human animals alike.
The book is in many ways a celebration of human inquiry, taking liberally from Peirce's semeiotic and parallel ideas within recent visual anthropology. Through an analysis of the work of three renowned filmmakers - Jon Jost, Johan Van der Keuken, and Rithy Panh - Semiotics and Documentary Film: The Living Sign in the Cinema reasserts human agency within a global age, dominated by philosophical scepticism and an unquestioning subservience to mechanistic military techno-culture.
The author argues that an approach to documentary inquiry, broadly derived from Peirce's sign theory, phenomenology, and overall philosophical outlook, has strong advantages over atemporal formal approaches derived from Saussurean semiology.
Nevertheless, this project is also both critical and self-critical. It also bears direct testament to the many tumultuous and life-destroying events of the late 20th century and reminds us of the moral and philosophical problems which we are still grappling with in the early 21st century. Hence - the Living Sign.