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Lecture 11

ENGB70H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Nanook Of The North, Robert J. Flaherty, Ethnographic Film


Department
English
Course Code
ENGB70H3
Professor
A Maurice
Lecture
11

Page:
of 2
Documentary
-a non-fiction film that presents real people (as opposed to actors playing roles), obects,
and events
-a large category that encompasses many different kinds of films, differing widely in
approach, goals, techniques, etc.
History
-Robert Flaherty: sometimes called the “father of documentary”; made NANOOK OF
THE NORTH (1922); more a romantic ethnography
-The term “documentary” was not used to describe non-fiction films until the 1930’s
-John Grierson: defined documentary as the “creative treatment of actuality”
Genres and Approaches
-Ethnographic film
-Social documentary
-Historical documentary
oArchival footage vs. re-enactment
-“Direct Cinema”, “observational cinema” and “Verité style”
onot a genre but an approach/philosophy/style practiced by a number of
filmmakers beginning in the 1960’s and 70’s
o“fly on the wall” approach; let action unfold, without relying on voiceover
narration, interviews, re-enactments and other kinds of directional intervention
-Cinema Verité
-Personal documentary (autobiographical)
oIncreased with the advent of home video and later the Internet
-Interactive Documentary (internet-based, non-linear approach)
-“mockumentary”
Ethics and Documentary
-“trust” relation between audience and documentary – expectation of truth
Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, 2010)
Banksy
-British graffiti artist whose real identity remains a mystery
-Known for pranks, political statements, and creating street art as mayhem
Distribution
-Distribution: the means through which movies are delivered to theatres, video stores,
television and cable networks, and internet sites, which make them available to
consumers
oDistributer
oWide release v. limited release
oTheatrical distribution and ancillary markets
oDocumentaries – typically a limited (if any) theatrical distribution
Exhibition
-Historical context of exhibition
oNickelodeons
oAdvent of feature film (one film, around 2 hours in length)
oSociology of exhibition space-social dimension of watching movies (individual
spectator vs. social audience)
oTechnological conditions of exhibition (changes such as digital sound and re-birth
of 3-D, require major upgrades in theatres)
oProduction code (MPPDA; sometimes referred to as Hays office; 193-1968)
Promotion
-Identification
-“sociology of taste”
-star system
-advertising; tie-ins