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date: 20 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article appears in the Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media edited by Carol Vernallis, Amy Herzog, and John Richardson. This essay analyzes the contemplations on nature in the experimental documentary works of Abbas Kiarostami and Aleksandr Sokurov from within a media ecological framework. Coupling the aesthetic strategies of long-take cinema with abstract, eremetic meditations on nature and ambient soundtracks, the works of these directors shift the focus of documentary from increased connectivity to reimagined connections among humans, technology, and nature in the digital era. With an emphasis on the sound composition of especially two films, Five (2003) and Confession (1998), the essay situates Kiarostami and Sokurov’s return to tropes of nature within the metaphysical turn in the humanities in recent years, which seeks to formulate a philosophy of nature that can respond to contemporary ecological sensibilities.

Keywords: documentary, digital, media ecology, sound, long take, Kiarostami, Sokurov

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