Week 12 americansplendor - The 4 Modes The Voice of...

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1 The 4 Modes - The Voice of Documentary – Bill Nichols article referred to in your reader article Bill Nichols was a primary figure around documentary theory. The 4 modes are based on an article called “the Voice of Documentary’ 1. Expositional/Direct Address/Voice of God Style (Grierson tradition) - archival footage - VOG narration that is authoritative, direct and (often) anonymous - Can be poetic and evocative - Claims ‘objective’ knowledge – when watching we have to ask what assumptions, values, purposes motivate the knowledge - Stylistically conventional, polished, sometimes with an artistic expression - Form can be complex and lyrical - Can be polemic with pervasive tone of social criticism 2. Cinema verite or observational Cinema Verite (truth) or observational –increases the ‘reality’ effect - Direct or immediate style of filming - The style seeks to become ‘transparent’ capturing ‘untampered’ events - a dramatic fiction-like structure employing ‘found’ stories as they unfold - narrows the gap between a fabricated realism and the apparent capture of ‘reality’ itself - attempts to address limitations of authority and distance in VOG tradition - appears to leave conclusions and interpretation and management of information to the audience - a weak sense of constructed meaning - stylistically has documentary textuality, muddied and inconsistent sound, sometimes out of focus, poor lighting, grainy film texture – leads to an authenticity, long shots or panning shots, shaky camera - War zone filming – running from dangerous situations, chaos etc - captures spontaneous activity in a wide variety of situations - no v/o narrations/almost no non-diegetic sound - lacks continuing characters and causality - choices about shooting and editing even though it direct and naïve 3. Interactive Interactive is in the tradition of films about ordinary people, Incorporates direct address often in the form of an interview - Social actor/interview subjects/narrator speaks directly to camera, to the viewer
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