What Does It Mean to Be an Ecological Filmmaker? Knut Erik Jensen’s Work as Eco-Auteur

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Norwegian filmmaker Knut Erik Jensen claims to be an ecological filmmaker. This article explores what this means. Selected examples of filmmakers’ unsound attitudes toward nature are discussed to provide a context for the proposed definition of ecological filmmaking. The latter, it is claimed, goes beyond green filmmaking, by both exemplifying and cueing pro-environmental attitudes. The proposal is to understand ecological filmmaking in terms of a cluster of intentions targeting appropriate attitudes toward the natural environment; the intention, for example, to appreciate nature on its own terms. Intentions alone, however, do not suffice, as the filmmaker’s ecologically appropriate goals must be realized in practice. A consideration of recurring features of Jensen’s cinematic style offers examples of how ecological intentions may be expressed in audiovisual works. It further raises questions about the extent to which a distinct ecological style would be the likely outcome of filmmakers’ widely acting on ecological intentions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-124
Number of pages21
JournalProjections (New York)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

User-Defined Keywords

  • cinematic style
  • ecological filmmaking
  • environmental aesthetics
  • intentions
  • nature films
  • practitioner’s agency
  • style
  • wildlife filmmaking


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