Modern Practitioners <ul><li>Is objectivity the bedrock of the medium, if the early pioneers were happy to reconstruct and...
Direct Cinema <ul><li>Documentary where images speak for themselves </li></ul><ul><li>No, or little, narration </li></ul><...
Cinema Vérité <ul><li>Often used now as synonym for documentary, Jean Rouch ’s term… </li></ul><ul><li>Original definition...
Direct Cinema vs Cinema Vérité <ul><li>DC = more photographic, records; CV = provocative, probing </li></ul><ul><li>DC = n...
Nick Broomfield The Leader, His Driver and the Driver ’s Wife  (1991)
Nick Broomfield <ul><li>Good case study for style/effects of DC and CV </li></ul><ul><li>Broomfield renowned for performat...
Nick Broomfield The Leader, His Driver and the Driver ’s Wife  (1991)
Nick Broomfield <ul><li>Started making Griersonian films ( Who Cares? , 1971) </li></ul><ul><li>Clear personal dimension t...
Nick Broomfield <ul><li>All films are  ‘A Film by Nick Broomfield’ </li></ul><ul><li>Implications? Egotistical? Investigat...
Tracking Down Maggie  (1994)
Michael Moore <ul><li>‘ Inventor of the personal essay-style feature-length political documentary’ – ‘Ambush journalism’  ...
Fahrenheit 9/11  (2004)
Michael Moore <ul><li>How does Moore  ‘construct’ his films? </li></ul><ul><li>How might you describe his approach? </li><...
Fahrenheit 9/11  (2004)
Fahrenheit 9/11  (2004)
Michael Moore <ul><li>From the clips, what differences do you see with Broomfield's style? </li></ul><ul><li>Moore less ob...
Things to consider… <ul><li>‘ The creative interpretation of actuality’ </li></ul><ul><li>How useful is this notion for un...
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Modern practitioners

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Modern practitioners

  1. 2. Modern Practitioners <ul><li>Is objectivity the bedrock of the medium, if the early pioneers were happy to reconstruct and dramatise? </li></ul><ul><li>Drama doc, a new phenomenon? </li></ul><ul><li>Isn ’t all documentary performative? Fictional?? </li></ul><ul><li>Is documentary the pursuit of truth? </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Cinema vs Cinema Vérité … </li></ul>
  2. 3. Direct Cinema <ul><li>Documentary where images speak for themselves </li></ul><ul><li>No, or little, narration </li></ul><ul><li>Filmmaker doesn ’t appear </li></ul><ul><li>Audience watch information, experience it directly </li></ul><ul><li>Assumption that camera is accepted, and ignored, by subjects (fly-on-the-wall?) </li></ul><ul><li>Truly objective and unmediated information??? … </li></ul>
  3. 4. Cinema Vérité <ul><li>Often used now as synonym for documentary, Jean Rouch ’s term… </li></ul><ul><li>Original definition – director cannot achieve objectivity because cannot forget the presence of the camera </li></ul><ul><li>Director acts as catalyst with the camera to prompt responses </li></ul><ul><li>Camera prompts self-reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Guilt and confession? … </li></ul>
  4. 5. Direct Cinema vs Cinema Vérité <ul><li>DC = more photographic, records; CV = provocative, probing </li></ul><ul><li>DC = non-intrusive, tries to let truth out naturally; CV = intrusive, tries to unmask truth </li></ul><ul><li>DC = too passive, uncritical; CV = forces people, stops them from being themselves, manipulates and distorts? </li></ul><ul><li>Both capture life as it happens (not reconstructions?) & less pre-meditated? </li></ul><ul><li>Two case studies to consider... </li></ul>
  5. 6. Nick Broomfield The Leader, His Driver and the Driver ’s Wife (1991)
  6. 7. Nick Broomfield <ul><li>Good case study for style/effects of DC and CV </li></ul><ul><li>Broomfield renowned for performative, self-reflexive documentaries, doesn ’t hide away </li></ul><ul><li>How do we read the clip of South African neo-Nazi leader Eugene Terreblanche? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we learn? DC or CV? </li></ul><ul><li>Truth? Objectivity? Reality? … </li></ul>
  7. 8. Nick Broomfield The Leader, His Driver and the Driver ’s Wife (1991)
  8. 9. Nick Broomfield <ul><li>Started making Griersonian films ( Who Cares? , 1971) </li></ul><ul><li>Clear personal dimension though </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn ’t script films; relies on improvisation; sniffing out a story; poking his nose in </li></ul><ul><li>‘ fly-in-the-ointment’ attitude </li></ul>
  9. 10. Nick Broomfield <ul><li>All films are ‘A Film by Nick Broomfield’ </li></ul><ul><li>Implications? Egotistical? Investigative? </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Why pretend you’re not there when everyone knows you are?’ </li></ul><ul><li>Too subjective? Too much like entertainment? </li></ul><ul><li>Says he wants audiences to make up their own minds… does he succeed in that professed aim? </li></ul><ul><li>What of this clip…? … </li></ul>
  10. 11. Tracking Down Maggie (1994)
  11. 12. Michael Moore <ul><li>‘ Inventor of the personal essay-style feature-length political documentary’ – ‘Ambush journalism’ (Rapoport, The Independent , 6 July 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Similar to Broomfield? More political? More interfering? More egotistical and looking for entertainment? </li></ul><ul><li>Alleged that Moore is less improvisational, with shooting script, manipulates material and reshoots </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn ’t shoot first, edit last </li></ul><ul><li>Lets look at some clips … </li></ul>
  12. 13. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
  13. 14. Michael Moore <ul><li>How does Moore ‘construct’ his films? </li></ul><ul><li>How might you describe his approach? </li></ul><ul><li>Ambush journalism? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do you think his style is so popular…and successful? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there any problems with it? … </li></ul>
  14. 15. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
  15. 16. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
  16. 17. Michael Moore <ul><li>From the clips, what differences do you see with Broomfield's style? </li></ul><ul><li>Moore less objective, more partial? </li></ul><ul><li>Justified by bringing major political issues to the screen? </li></ul><ul><li>Does Moore try to get us to share HIS view, whereas Broomfield invites us to decide? </li></ul><ul><li>Differences between Bowling for Columbine (2002) and Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)? … </li></ul>
  17. 18. Things to consider… <ul><li>‘ The creative interpretation of actuality’ </li></ul><ul><li>How useful is this notion for understanding documentary? How it works? What it seeks to achieve? </li></ul><ul><li>Can documentary truly be objective? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it not as manipulative as fiction? </li></ul><ul><li>Where is the power in documentary? </li></ul><ul><li>Is all documentary political? </li></ul><ul><li>The cinema is a pulpit…? And what of TV documentary … </li></ul>

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