Week 3A Reading Notes - Week 3A Reading Notes Grant Pg...

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Week 3A Reading Notes Grant Pg 119-135 The Plow That Broke the Plains and The City >Nichols said documentary defined by interaction of a community of practitioners and a constituency of viewers. In US also defined by the 1930’s, together these films gave meaning to documentary. The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936) and others up until WWII were independent films that through experimentation with aesthetics and politics also defined doc. >Cinema became medium for docs. bc combined aims of expression and persuasion through film bc was a combo of photography’s visual testimony with those of radio’s aural record. >”voice” is perspective of doc but not meant to only mean the aural part of film. It begins to refer to the aural characteristic bc 1930’s period the sound became a stylistic device. Didacticism - An emphasis on teaching and learning through the medium of theatre rather than using theatre to simply entertain. Disparate- not situated alike; not exactly paired; dissimilar in kind. > Sound can be used expressively, just as other things then sound can be used as medium of persuasion. Two films that use diff approaches The Plow That Broke the Plains and The City . The Plow That Broke the Plains Directed by Lorentz’s uses sound over images- focus on poetic recitative nature of commentary and use of music by Virgil Thomson. Potential for persuasion high but can ruin part of experiential dimension of doc. Can give truthful ring to doc bc if not attached with film seems separate and all knowing. Make sure the literal voice not overshadow “voice” of doc. Use narrational logic to combine collection of random images and make sense. Pg 124 Grant during showing to see film format Shot of farmer against plough shows end of prosperity. Segment 3 hints at limitations of growth through narration. Opening of seg. 4 demonstrates stasis with wagon wheel covered in dust. But bc war ends more positive with juxtaposition of tanks and tractors on screen- while war theres need for incr. farming. Seg 6-7 have emotional low bc barren lands leading to depression, begin + end with stasis compounding negativity. Ex. Seg 1 has nice grass while seg 7 has dead trees and then film closes with resoration and shot of grass once more. Movie ends with lesson to learn from past and gives hope of restoration. Shot in fragments but bc about history filmmaker has knowledge to combine. Narration goes from 3 rd person to 1 st person to demonstrate detatched observation and then mutual responsibility of reg people and govt. Music used to demonstrate tone of seg. and demonstrates past using folktunes. Also use repletion to remind us of cycle of events. Use montage to link cause/effect relationship using 1920 jazz, excessive wheat growth, and stock market crash.
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  • Spring '08
  • Schoemaker
  • Pare Lorentz, question bc voice, aural characteristic bc

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