Issues in Film Studies 2: Week 12
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  • 1. Documentary & Capturing the Friedmans
    Issues in Film Studies 2
    Week 12
  • 2. Study Group
    During the study group you should discuss your reactions/responses to Capturing the Friedmans(2003)
    For example:
    Do you think the Friedmans were guilty?
    Does the film encourage you to view in the Friedman family in a certain way?
    Is there anything about the film that you found problematic or disliked?
  • 3. Genre & Narrative
    What fiction genres does the movie borrow from?
    Why do you think the filmmakers adopted narrative strategies from these genres?
    How else might the story have been told?
  • 4. Documentary Techniques
    Editing is one of the major tools used by documentary makers to generate meaning from material
    Juxtaposition of/within images can create tensions within a text
    The narrator/author is a device that can perform a variety of functions within a documentary film
  • 5. Editing in Capturing the Friedmans
    How is editing used in Capturing the Friedmans?
    Can you think of any particularly memorable/interesting juxtapositions?
    • How are archival materials used or presented?
  • Authenticity on Film
    Films that have a snapshot quality and are lacking in aesthetic ‘beauty’ are claimed to suggest a greater truth and authenticity
    Many major events have been documented through non-professional footage
    Fiction film has appropriated the style of camcorder footage for cinematic effect
  • 6. Authenticity in Documentary
    Does the use of home movie footage in Capturing the Friedmans create a greater sense of authenticity?
    Are you skeptical about footage presented as ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ in a cinematic context?
  • 7. Performance in Capturing the Friedmans
    In your opinion, how deliberate/’knowing’ are the ‘performances’ of the Friedman family?
    Do you think an awareness of being watched shapes how documentary participants behave on screen?
    Does this make the idea that documentaries capture ‘reality’ problematic?
  • 8. Ethical Aspects of Documentary
    What ethical dilemmas are raised by Capturing the Friedmans?
    In your opinion, should a documentary present an argument or attempt to be neutral?