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Choices made in the reissue of many of Robert Gardner's groundbreaking films-including Dead Birds (1964), Rivers of Sand (1973), and Forest of Bliss (1986)-on DVD demonstrate how new media tools can reinvigorate questions generated by the original works and how they can provide new insight into a filmmaker's praxis. The juxtaposition of differing media and the integration of commentary track conversations in many of these works with media makers and scholars such as Stan Brakhage, Robert Fenz, Ross McElwee, Akos Ostor, and Lucien Taylor provide unique vantage points from which to view the original documentaries and reconsider the lessons they yield. Gardner's concurrent publication of his diary and production notes in the book Impulse to Preserve (2006) contextualizes and personalizes these works, showing how they fit together in a career of innovative ethnographic production that has spanned over 50 years.
American Anthropologist © 2007 American Anthropological Association