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Five Modes of Documentary Representation

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Five Modes of Documentary Representation The Expository Mode of Documentary Representation Table of Contents 1) General ideas of documentary films 2) Five modes of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Five Modes of Documentary Representation


1
Five Modes of Documentary Representation
  • The Expository Mode of Documentary Representation

2
Table of Contents
  • 1) General ideas of documentary films
  • 2) Five modes of documentary films
  • 3) Expository mode of documentary representation
  • 4) Robert Flaherty and his documentaries
  • 5) Flaherty and British documentaries

3
General Ideas of Documentary Films
  • Documentary a factual film or television
    programme about an event, person, etc.,
    presenting the facts with little or no fiction.
  • Documentary A film whose representation of its
    subjects that viewers are intended to accept
    primarily as factual. A documentary film may
    present a story or it may not.

4
General Ideas of Documentary Films
  • The positions being questioned
  • Documentaries are non-fiction films which are
    sharply distinguished from fiction films. The
    world depicted in the documentary is real, not
    imaginary.
  • The documentary filmmaker simply observes and
    makes an objective record of real events.

5
General Ideas of Documentary Films
  • Documentary films do not create but record
    reality.
  • - Consist of raw footage of real people, real
    events and real objects.
  • Truthful reflection of actuality.

6
General Ideas of Documentary Films
  • Are documentary films true to their subjects?
  • Joris Ivens (a controversial Dutch documentary
    filmmaker) says it is permissible to make up
    things in non-fiction movies.

7
General Ideas of Documentary Films
  • Filmed in selected mise-en-scène
  • Filmed events are ordered and reshaped in
    particular montage
  • NOT RECORDED BUT CONSTRUCTED REALITY

8
General Ideas of Documentary Films
  • Documentaries represent events, objects and
    people only in degrees more truthfully than other
    types of films.
  • Truthfulness and factuality - only relative
    concepts
  • NEVERTHELESS
  • Search for ways in which documentaries represent
    actuality as it really is
  • ? Types and schools of documentary filmmaking

9
Five Modes of Documentary Films
  • Types of documentary films - - factual film,
    ethnographic film, films of exploration,
    propaganda film, cinéma vérité, direct cinema
    (Richard Barsama)
  • Expository, observational, interactive,
    reflective and performative mode of documentary
    representations (Bill Nichols)

10
Expository Mode of Documentary Films
  • The expository text addresses the viewer
    directly, with titles or voices that advance an
    argument about the historical world Expository
    texts take shape around commentary directed
    toward the viewer images serve as illustration
    or counterpoint. Bill Nichols
  • Voiceover (or subtitles) illustrate story and
    image

11
Robert Flaherty and His Documentaries
  • Robert Flaherty (1884-1951)
  • One of the founding fathers of documentary film

12
Robert Flaherty and His Documentaries
  • of course, Moana, 1926 being a visual account
    of events in the daily life of a Polynesian youth
    and his family, has documentary value. John
    Grierson

13
Robert Flaherty and His Documentaries
  • Nanook of the North (1922) - about the daily
    lives of an Eskimo called Nanook and his family
    in the Belcher Islands in arctic Canada

14
Robert Flaherty and His Documentaries
  • Flaherty, a prospector, took a movie camera in
    his expedition and recorded the unfamiliar
    wildlife and people that he encountered.
  • Lives of the Inuit people

15
Robert Flaherty and His Documentaries
  • TRUTH AND FICTION/
  • RECORDING AND CONSTRUCTION
  • Every scene was planned in advance.
  • Discussion between Flaherty and Inuits about
    the filming of the walrus hunt. They may have to
    give up the kill if it interferes with the film.
    The reply yes, yes, the Aggie will come first,
    not a man will stir, not a harpoon will be thrown
    until you give the sign.

16
Robert Flaherty and His Documentaries
  • b) Nanook made suggestions what to be included.
  • c) Reality was touched and modified during
    filming and editing processes.
  • Traditional costumes specially made and worn
    the traditional harpoon was used specially for
    the film

17
Robert Flaherty and Hid Documentaries
  • the film is not a straightforward recording
    of their everyday life they amiably enacted some
    of it for Flahertys cameras. Bus so honest and
    instinctive was their playing that it was
    undoubtedly truth of a sort.
  • Delek Malcolm, Guardian journalist

18
Flaherty and British Documentaries
  • John Grierson invited Flaherty to Britain
  • Flaherty laid the foundation for the British
    documentary-making in the 30s
  • GPO film unit and the Empire Marketing Board
  • Grierson as leader and Flaherty as inspiration,
    young British filmmakers like Basil Wright, Harry
    Watts, Alberto Cavalcanti

19
Flaherty and British Documentaries
  • Industrial Britain (1931)
  • Survey of British industry with emphasis on
    craftsmanship.
  • Aestheticization of reality
  • film

20
Modes of Documentary Film
  • In most of complex documentary films, multiple
    modes and styles are employed.
  • Expository (images and verbal explanation)
  • Observational (images and sound without verbal
    explanation)
  • Interactive (interviews and oral history)

21
Complex Documentary
  • One Day in September (2000) by Kevin MacDonald
  • About the kidnapping and killing of 11 Israeli
    during the 1972 Munich Olympics.
  • Combination of newsreel and archival footage,
    interviews and voiceover narration

22
Complex Documentary
  • Clear and strong message of film makers
  • Surprising incompetence of the German police
  • Bungling of the rescue mission at the airport
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