Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Patricia Aufderheide

By Patricia Aufderheide

Documentary movie can surround something from Robert Flaherty's pioneering ethnography Nanook of the North to Michael Moore's anti-Iraq struggle polemic Fahrenheit 11th of September, from Dziga Vertov's crafty Soviet propaganda piece guy with a film digicam to Luc Jacquet's heart-tugging flora and fauna epic March of the Penguins. during this concise, crisply written consultant, Patricia Aufderheide takes readers alongside the varied paths of documentary background and charts the vigorous, frequently fierce debates between filmmakers and students in regards to the top how one can characterize fact and to inform the truths worthy telling.
starting with an outline of the valuable problems with documentary filmmaking--its definitions and reasons, its varieties and founders--Aufderheide makes a speciality of numerous of its key subgenres, together with public affairs movies, executive propaganda (particularly the works produced in the course of international struggle II), ancient documentaries, and nature motion pictures. Her thematic method permits readers to go into the subject material in the course of the types of movies that first attracted them to documentaries, and it allows her to make connections among eras, in addition to revealing the continuing nature of documentary's middle controversies regarding objectivity, advocacy, and bias. Interwoven all through are discussions of the moral and functional concerns that come up with each point of documentary creation. a very valuable function of the e-book is an appended record of "100 nice documentaries" that any one with a major curiosity within the style should still see.
Drawing at the author's 4 many years of expertise as a movie pupil and critic, this ebook is definitely the right advent not only for lecturers and scholars but in addition for all considerate filmgoers and if you happen to aspire to make documentaries themselves.

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On television, where viewers make a decision within one or two seconds about whether to watch, producers now strive to make every moment compelling and to signal brand identity not only through identifying logos but through style. They also search for ways to streamline production and reduce costs through style and form. ’’ Filmmakers have looked to three kinds of funders to pay for their documentaries: patrons or sponsors, both corporate and governmental; advertisers, typically on television and usually at one remove; and users or audiences.

Free Cinema literally freed itself from precisely that mandate. Lindsay Anderson’s O Dreamland (1953) and Karel Reisz and Tony Richardson’s Momma Don’t Allow (1956) took viewers on a vacation with working-class kids going to an amusement part and a jazz club. The films did not implicitly judge their characters or dictate to viewers what to conclude from what they saw, nor did they tell viewers that what they were seeing was important. The films were chances to peer into zestful moments of ordinary life and frank statements about the personal interests of the filmmaker.

Filmmakers’ formal choices all make persuasive claims to the viewer about the accuracy, good faith, and reasonableness of the filmmaker. The fact that filmmakers have a wide variety of choices in representing reality is a reminder that there is no transparent representation of reality. No one can solve these ethical dilemmas by eschewing choice in expression, and no formal choices are wrong in themselves. A good-faith relationship between maker and viewer is essential. Filmmakers can facilitate that by being clear to themselves why they are using the techniques that they do, and striving for formal choices that honor the reality they want to share.

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