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AS90602: Documentary Genre

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  1. Key Notes and Summary AS90602: Documentary Genre

  2. What is the Purpose of Documentary Film? • Inform • Entertain • Record • Represent • Influence • Change the World?

  3. What is the Purpose of Documentary Film? • You decide – discuss with your neighbour each of the options. Rank them in the order you think documentarians (yourselves included) would see them.

  4. What is the Purpose of Documentary Film? • “Documentary should act on our hearts, not just our minds; it exists to change the way we feel about something.” - Michael Rabinger. • Again, what do you think? Copy the definition and discuss.

  5. What Makes Documentary Different? • Does a documentary film have to be factual to be considered a documentary? • To what extent does it have to be factual? (Think about re-enactments, “creative” editing as in Michael Moore)

  6. What Makes Documentary Different? • “A film that deals directly with fact and not fiction, that tries to convey reality as it is instead of some fictional version of reality. These films are concerned with actual people, places, events or activities.” - Ira Konigsberg, The Complete Film Dictionary, 2ndedn, 103.

  7. Critical Reading on the Genre: “The Voice of the Documentary” Nichols, Bill, (2001), Introduction to Documentary, Indiana: Indiana University Press. Pp.46-51. Topics covered: • “Voice”: how a documentary speaks to an audience • Explicit and implicit voices • Perspective • Invention: artistic and inartistic proof. • The history of oratory as an art form

  8. Critical Reading Exercise: Note Taking Strategies: • Scanning a page for key words, and writing them down. • Reading topic sentences (first in the paragraph) carefully, and summarising.

  9. A note-taking process for Media Studies: • Head your page with the bibliographical information of the book or text (Nichols, B…. • Begin each note with a heading and underline. • Under your heading, write up to five bullet points of summarised information, of no more than one line each. • In each bullet point, underline a key word. (When you come to revise, you can use these as trigger words to recall the rest of the bullet point.)

  10. A note-taking process for Media Studies: The Voice of Documentary • People who actually speak in the film. • Film language (shot types and angles). • Use of sound or music. • Chronological order of info presented. • The mode of documentary.

  11. We Have Learned About: • Documentary Voice • Genre Conventions • Representation • Implicit and Explicit Voice • Evidence • Artistic and Inartistic Proof • Rhetoric and the art of Oratory • The three C’s of Oratory

  12. A note-taking process for Media Studies: Genre Conventions • Common qualities of texts. • Shared across different text types. • Eg. Documentary shares conventions with essay and news report. • Evidence of an encounter, a perspective or argument. • An individual film is a unique combination of conventions.

  13. The Relationship Between the Documentary Genre and Society “Films reflect the time and place they are made.”

  14. The Relationship Between the Documentary Genre and Society Links between genre and society can be: • Technological – for example, the technology available in 1920 influenced the production of Nanook… • Cultural • Economic • Political Brainstorm with a partner examples for #2-4.

  15. Construct an Exemplar Paragraph • Topic sentence/point. • Explain the link to society. • Give an example (could be a convention). • Explain your example in detail. • Link back to your topic/point sentence.

  16. Construct an Exemplar Paragraph • The documentary genre has been influenced by society. • As products of the time period in which they are produced, documentary films are subject to the cultural climate of society at the time. • For example, the film, Nanook of the North… • Attitudes and views expressed in the documentary therefore reflect the views of the intended audience; Flaherty was giving the wealthy European and Americans the romantic film they wanted. • In this way the society Nanook was produced in has influenced its form and function.

  17. Grade Your Essay: Checklist My essay includes: • Two connections between society and genre, eg an historical link, or a technological link. • Evidence to support each connection. • Reference to three specific texts (evidence). • At least one convention of documentary genre.

  18. Grade Your Essay: Depth of Answer Merit: • “Analyses how or why the relationship occurs” • Shows understanding of the society described, and the genre. • Answer focuses on the genre, rather than specific texts.

  19. Grade Your Essay: Depth of Answer Excellence: • “Analyses perceptively (speculation/ evaluation of) the reason for, and the effects of, the relationship between genre and society.” • “Integrates genre, society and textual evidence in a coherent response.”

  20. Grade Your Essay: Next Steps • Use the marking schedule and criteria to give yourself a grade. Bring your essay to Mr Hanson to discuss your next step – what you can do to move to the next level.