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Traditional documentary. Defined perspective/attitude/agenda Selected editing to promote point Voice-over commentary Use of interview quotes Propaganda Triumph of the Will: Hitler as god-like. Cinema Verite Documentary. Little intrusive commentary/music Little editing/long takes

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Traditional documentary

  • Defined perspective/attitude/agenda

  • Selected editing to promote point

  • Voice-over commentary

  • Use of interview quotes

  • Propaganda

    • Triumph of the Will: Hitler as god-like


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Cinema Verite Documentary

  • Little intrusive commentary/music

  • Little editing/long takes

  • Events/world not staged

  • Ethnographic perspective on a culture

  • Seemingly non-ideological

  • Few interviews


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Cinema Verite: Frederick Wiseman

  • Focuses on institutions

    • High School II: East Central HS

    • Neiman Marcus

    • Panama

    • Welfare


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Rhetorical impact: audience

  • Placate/sooth audience: nostalgia

  • Challenge/implicate audiences

    • Force audiences to rethink beliefs

    • Encourage audiences to act


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Rock documentaries

  • Gimmie Shelter, 1970, (Rolling Stones)

  • A Hard Day’s Night, 1968, (Beatles)

  • Don’t Look Back, 1967, (Bob Dylan)

  • Quadrophenia, 1979 (The Who)

  • Almost Famous, 2000 (rock star life)

  • Hedweig & the Angry Inch, 2001

  • The Last Waltz, 1978 (The Band)

    • Use of 35mm cameras

    • Re-released DVD


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Documentary

  • Students create own documentaries

    • Use of photos/video clips

    • Use of multi-genre writing

    • Present using hypermedia

    • Tour/promotion documentaries

  • Draw on image databases

  • Select an issue/theme

    • Pollution/sprawl/testing

    • Interviews/analysis

  • Ethnography and documentary

    • Study of events/celebrations/rituals


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“Fiction”/“reality” vs. “truth”

  • Problem with concepts

    • Fiction = “not real”

    • Reality = “not fictional”

  • Alternative: “documentary truth”

    • Explores tensions/complexity vs. propaganda: “one truth”

    • Invites recognition of the complexity of a problem/issue


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Brainstorm: Criteria for determining “truth”

  • Groups: pick a topic

    • Your school, an event (state fair, celebrations),community history,etc.

  • Identify some of the “truths” in this topic

  • If you were to make a documentary, how would you portray these “truths”?

    • Interviews

    • Portrayal of event/old video footage


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