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 Sep 11, from Dziga Vertov's crafty Soviet propaganda piece guy with a film digicam to Luc Jacquet's heart-tugging natural world epic March of the Penguins. during this concise, crisply written consultant, Patricia Aufderheide takes readers alongside the various paths of documentary heritage and charts the full of life, frequently fierce debates between filmmakers and students in regards to the top how one can symbolize fact and to inform the truths worthy telling.
starting with an outline of the significant 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 motion pictures, executive propaganda (particularly the works produced in the course of international battle II), old documentaries, and nature movies. Her thematic method permits readers to go into the subject material in the course of the varieties of motion pictures 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 related to objectivity, advocacy, and bias. Interwoven all through are discussions of the moral and sensible issues that come up with each point of documentary creation. a very important characteristic 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 e-book is the appropriate creation not only for academics and scholars but in addition for all considerate filmgoers and in case you aspire to make documentaries themselves.
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Additional resources for Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
As Leo Marx has noted, this romantic view of other cultures valued for their supposed simplicity and innocence only grew with rapid industrialization. Another reason why people continue to love Flaherty’s ﬁlms is that Flaherty’s immense affection for his subjects is palpable. Flaherty established a warm human bond with the people he lived and worked with for months at a time. Four decades after Flaherty 30 made Man of Aran, ﬁlmmaker George Stoney—who had been inspired to take up ﬁlmmaking by watching Flaherty’s ﬁlms— returned to the island where his grandfather had been the ﬁrst physician to interview people who had worked on the ﬁlm.
Curtis, whom the Flahertys had visited before ﬁnishing Nanook. Curtis, already renowned for his photography of American Indians in archaic dress, had hoped to pay for years of living with Kwakiutl Indians with a ﬁlm that would attract paying audiences. His In the Land of the Headhunters (1914)—later renamed, more accurately, In the Land of the War Canoes—combined footage of rites that he had asked the Kwakiutl to revive with a melodramatic plot that did not draw from Kwakiutl culture. It was a sad and clumsy box ofﬁce and aesthetic failure, although of immense interest to later anthropologists for its re-created ritual scenes.
Helen van Dongen, Flaherty’s editor for his last two projects and the person who had carved stories out of footage, rejected the mystical claims of Frances Flaherty but 31 Deﬁning the Documentary Reviewers at the time raised questions about intention and ethics, particularly concerning Man of Aran. Grierson and Paul Rotha, another leader of what came to be called the British documentary, celebrated Flaherty as a great artist who elevated documentary to be beautiful art rather than a mere record.