High School• No narrator• No interviews• No main character• No overarching conflict/narrative• No soundtrack• Fly on the wall, stance hard to determine• Camerawork—lots of CU and ECU
Observational Documentary• Seeks to capture what happens in front of the camera with minimal influence. Observes actions or events unfold.• Avoids interviews, voiceovers, even, in many cases, non-diegetic music.• Gives a vivid sense of what it feels like to share the world of specific individuals.
Observational Films• Primary (1960)• Dont Look Back (1967)• High School (1968)• Woodstock (1970)• The War Room (1993)• Hoop Dreams (1994)• Last Train Home (2009)• Restrepo (2010)
If you consider High School as anargument, what point do you thinkFrederick Wiseman is trying to make?How does he want you to see and thinkabout high school as an institution?1. Write the movie’s “thesis” in one complete sentence.2. List the scenes that are important evidence for the thesis.
Grizzly Man• Interviews• Voiceover – narrator’s opinion• Main character & story• Photos, stock video• Timothy’s video• Soundtrack• Letting the camera run• Setup (staged) scenes• Withheld information
Self-Reflexive Documentary• Draws attention to the type of film a documentary is by making the viewer aware of the conventions, the expectations, and assumptions that usually go unspoken.• May focus on assumptions of realism and problems of representation.• May call attention to the process of its own making.
Reflexive Documentaries• The Man with a Movie Camera (1929)• No Lies (1973)• F for Fake (1973)• Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989)• Grizzly Man (2005)
What is Herzog’s view of Treadwell? Inwhat specific ways does the moviepresent Herzog’s view? Does the film alsoallow us to glimpse Treadwell’s view ofhimself? In what specific ways do we getthis glimpse?1. Write Herzog’s “thesis” in one complete sentence.2. Write in one sentence how you imagine Treadwell would respond.