By Patricia Aufderheide

Documentary movie can surround whatever from Robert Flaherty's pioneering ethnography Nanook of the North to Michael Moore's anti-Iraq warfare polemic Fahrenheit 11th of September, 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 historical past and charts the vigorous, usually fierce debates between filmmakers and students in regards to the most sensible how you can signify fact and to inform the truths worthy telling.
starting with an summary of the critical problems with documentary filmmaking--its definitions and reasons, its kinds and founders--Aufderheide specializes in a number of of its key subgenres, together with public affairs motion pictures, executive propaganda (particularly the works produced in the course of international battle II), ancient documentaries, and nature motion pictures. Her thematic method permits readers to go into the subject material during the types 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 center controversies regarding objectivity, advocacy, and bias. Interwoven all through are discussions of the moral and functional issues that come up with each element of documentary construction. a very precious characteristic of the e-book is an appended record of "100 nice documentaries" that anybody with a major curiosity within the style should still see.
Drawing at the author's 4 a long time of expertise as a movie pupil and critic, this booklet is the proper creation not only for lecturers and scholars but in addition for all considerate filmgoers and when you aspire to make documentaries themselves.

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Additional info for Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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His group borrowed the term ‘‘cinema verite´’’ from Dziga Vertov’s kino-pravda, and they made Chronicle of a Summer (Chronique d’un E´te´, 1961). The small experiment reverberated among activist-makers. ’’ in The Lovely May (1963); Jan Apta, a Czech filmmaker, conducted an on-camera survey of young people about their dreams and hopes in Nejvetsi Prani (The Greatest Wish [1964]); in Opinia˜o Publica (Public Opinion [1967]), Brazilian filmmaker Arnaldo Jabor recorded the perspectives of lowermiddle-class residents of Rio de Janeiro—a voice not heard before in Brazilian film and television.

For a decade after the Russian revolution, however, Vertov was a formative figure of cinema both in Russia and internationally. Although he became a ‘‘nonperson’’ in his home country’s cinema history during the Communist era, he remained an enduring inspiration to avant-garde artists and to documentarians everywhere. Vertov headily mixed claims of art and science for documentary— the essence of the film medium for him. ’’ He saw the camera as ‘‘the mechanical I . . ’’ The camera was a 38 cybernetic extension of the weak human capacity for sight; it could see panoramic vistas from great heights, peer into second-story windows, go great distances.

Auden and composer Benjamin Britten, followed a letter from mailbox to delivery, mostly on a mail train (the interior of the train was a set). It awed viewers with the intricate bureaucratic and industrial complexity of the government service, 4. John Grierson saw documentary as a tool to promote social cohesion and insight; Night Mail celebrated the union of man and machine in British postal delivery. Directed by Harry Watt and Basil Wright, 1936. 34 burnishing the reputation of the post office and underscoring the interlinked nature of modern society.

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