Poetic Documentary (Ivens, Bunuel & Dali. Fischinger, Menken) 1.

Does not use continuity editing, sacrifices sense of the very specific location and place that continuity creates 2. Explores associations and patterns that involve temporal rhythms and spatial juxtapositions 3. Social Actors rarely become fully-fledged characters 4. Opens up possibility of alternative forms of knowledge to straightforward transfer of knowledge NEGATIVE: LACK OF SPECIFICITY Expository Documentary Grierson, Flaherty, Ivens. 1.Arose from dissatisfaction with distracting entertainment qualities of the fiction film 2.Voice of god commentary, poetic perspectives sought to disclose information about historical world & see that world afresh, even if ideas seem romantic or didactic 3.Addresses viewer directly, w/titles or voices 4.Advances argument about historical world 5. It takes shape around commentary directed toward the viewer; images illustrate the verbal commentary builds sense of dramatic involvement around need for solution to a problem. 6. Nonsynchronous sound prevails (historical circumstances) 7. Editing generally establishes/maintains rhetorical continuity more than spatial/temporal NEGATIVE: OVERLY DIDACTIC Observational Documentary Paradigm: depiction of everyday life ** Often described as either direct cinema (Eric Barnouw) or cinema verite (Mamber). Barnouw says that verite is interventionist/interactive mode. Nichols (source for these notes) sidesteps this issue by creating two different modes that cover this topic: the observational and interactive modes of representation Examples of filmmakers: Leacock, Pennebaker, Wiseman, Maysles/Zwerin 1.Arose from available lightweight portable synchronous recordin equipment & dissatisfaction with moralizing quality of expository documentary. 2.It allowed filmmaker to record unobtrusively what folks did when not explicitly addressing the camera.

3. It tears away veil of filmmakers illusory absence 5. Godmilow.its reflexivity makes audience aware of how other modes claim to cosntruct "truth" through documentary practice.It stresses the nonintervention of filmmaker 4. This mode wants to engage w/individuals more directly while not reverting to classic exposition interview styles 2. Archival footage becomes appended to these commentaries to avoid hazards of reenactment & monolithic claims of voice of god commentary NEGATIVE: EXCESSIVE FAITH IN HISTORY. TOO INTRUSIVE Reflexive Documentary (Vertov. LOSES SIGHT OF ACTUAL ISSUES . relatively long takes. Ability of filmmaker to include representative & revealing moments b.It uses indirect address. Connie Field It arose from the availability of same mobile equipment & desire to make filmmakers perspective more evident. synchronous sound. de Antonio. 6. Presence of camera on scene NEGATIVE: LACKS HISTORICAL CONTEXT Interactive Documentary Examples: Rouch. Arose form desire to make the conventions of representation themselves more apparent & to challenge the impression of reality which other three modes normally conveyed unproblematically.Editing doesnít construct time frame or rhythm. speech overheard. Becomes technologically viable in 50s with emergence of portable synchronous sound equipment makes interaction more feasible NEGATIVE: TOO ABSTRACT. Sounds and images recorded at moment of observational filming in contrast to voice-over of expository mode c. Illustrations do not serve generalizations but a specific slide of reality.Filmmaker cedes control of events more than any other mode. 8 Its sense of observation comes from a. It allows filmmaker to account for past events via witnesses and experts whom viewer can also see 3. It uses many of devices of other modes but sets them on edge so viewer attends to device as well as the effect. 5. 7. Raul Ruiz) 1.3. 4. 2. It is the most self-aware mode . d.This mode limited filmmaker to present moment and required disciplined detachment from events themselves. 1. but enhances impression of lived or real time.

The documentary maker generally establishes a thesis before starting the construction of their text. Like Reflexive Documentary. a transformation of historical material into a more abstract.e. it raises questions about knowledge 2. i. it being impossible to represent reality without constructing a narrative that may be fictional in places. Tries to demonstrate how understanding such personal knowledge can help us understand more general processes of society 4. Audiences must identify that purpose early on and will therefore decode documentary texts differently to fictional narratives. lyrical form. literature) 3.A Definition for the Digital Age Documentary texts are supposedly those which aim to document reality. re-sequenced and artificially framed. they are the result of choices made by the photographer on the other end of the lens. Introduction to Documentary (Indiana University Press). places and events. Bill Nichols defines the following six modes of documentary 'reassembling fragments of the world'. historical ones. the objectivity of the text lies not in the origin but the destination? The documentary genre has a range of purposes. the process of mediation means that this is something of a oxymoron. Other texts purport simply to record an event. Riggs) 1. … Documentary . Julien. social issues assembled into an argumentative The Mode The Poetic Expository . although decisions made in postproduction mean that actuality is edited. However. Nonetheless. and the process of documentary-making can be simply the ratification of their idea. any images that are edited cannot claim to be wholly factual. Perhaps. Certainly. Such texts are often constructed from a particular moral or political perspective. Endorses definition of knowledge that emphasizes personal experience (in tradition of poetry. May "mix" elements of various documentary modes to achieve link between subjective knowledge/understanding of the world. and cannot therefore claim to be objective. Documentary Modes In his 2001 book. Performative Documentary (Resnais.. that their aim is to reveal a version of reality that is less filtered and reconstructed than in a fiction text. attempting veracity in their depiction of people. usually associated with 1920s and modernist ideas 'direct address'. to misquote Eco. from the simple selection and recording of events (a snapshot or unedited holiday video) to a polemic text that attempts to persuade the audience into a specific set of opinions (Bowling For Columbine). it is widely accepted that categories of media texts can be classed as non-fiction. and more general understandings.

often autobiographical in nature The Observational Mode The Participatory Mode The Reflexive Mode The Performative Mode These roughly correspond to developmental phases in the genre. asking questions of their subjects. and presents ideas as part of a context. acknowledging the presence of the viewer and the modality judgements they arrive at. able to document life in a less intrusive manner. and engages actively with the issues of realism and representation. Corresponds to critical theory of the 1980s acknowledges the emotional and subjective aspects of documentary. leaving the social actors free to act and the documentarists free to record without interacting with each other the encounter between film-maker and subject is recorded. and some of the rhetoric and polemic surrounding World War Two as technology advanced by the 1960s and cameras became smaller and lighter. as the film-maker actively engages with the situation they are documenting. mediated by a voice-of-God narration. sharing experiences with them. Heavily reliant on the honesty of witnesses demonstrates consciousness of the process of reading documentary. having different meanings for different people. associated with 1920s-1930s. and re-invented what documentary means for them.Mode frame. when new generations of documentary makers have challenged the forms and conventions that have gone before. there is less control required over lighting etc. .

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