Documentary & Capturing the Friedmans Issues in Film Studies 2 Week 12
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?
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?
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
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
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?
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?
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?