Three Cheers for the Essay Film: How Chris Marker’s Vive la baleine Epitomizes Timothy Corrigan’s Model | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2042-1869
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1877


Chris Marker’s (1972) is widely hailed as a quintessential essay film. This article examines how the film adheres to essayistic characteristics using film scholar Timothy Corrigan’s definition of the essay film mode. In particular, the article highlights the film’s following traits: the three-pronged and gendered approach to narration, the intentional aesthetic and stylistic inconsistency, the underlying critique of the whaling industry, the explicit adoration expressed toward the whale, and the film’s self-reflexivity.


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  1. Corrigan, Timothy.. “ Part One: Toward the Essay Film. .” The Essay Film: From Montaigne to Marker, Oxford University Press;, 2011, pp. 1375.
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  5. Three Cheers for the Whale (Vive la baleine). Directed by Mario Ruspoli, and Chris Marker., Argos Films;, 1972.
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