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By Keith Beattie

Documentary productions surround awesome representations of unusual realities. How do documentaries in achieving their ends? What kinds of documentaries are there? What elements are implicated of their creation? Such questions animate this enticing learn. Documentary monitors presents a entire and significant advent to the formal positive aspects and histories of primary different types of documentary movie and tv. one of the different types tested are autobiographical, indigenous and ethnographic documentary, compilation motion pictures, direct cinema and cinema verite and tv documentary journalism. The booklet additionally considers contemporary so-called renowned authentic leisure and the way forward for documentary movie, tv and new media. This provocative and available research situates wide-ranging examples from every one classification in the higher fabric forces which impression on documentary shape and content material. the real connection among shape, content material, and context explored within the booklet constitutes a brand new and vigorous ''documentary studies'' method of documentary illustration.

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Extra info for Documentary Screens: Non-Fiction Film and Television

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Recent criticisms of the Griersonian form have charged that Grierson’s alignment of the documentary project with official funding functioned to institutionalize Grierson’s foundational principles of documentary thereby denying alternative modes of documentary representation which emphasized different theoretical ideas and varying production practices (Winston, 1995). The practices of autobiographical film (examined in Chapter 7), and the recent examples of popular factual entertainment (analysed in Chapter 10), demonstrate ways in which documentary diverges from or reworks the formal approaches and content of Griersonian documentary.

Throughout the film, images of human labour, nature (birds, sea, sky, fish) and machine (the ship’s engine and winches) are juxtaposed. The editing style suggests the connection and interaction of various elements: (male) worker and machine, worker and nature and machine and nature. Over-lapping dissolves are used to draw attention to the relationships of elements. Grierson’s patterning and layering of images demonstrates the ways in which aspects of the process of herring fishing are interconnected and, in turn, the visual practice constructs an argument concerning the interaction of social relations generally (Aitken, 1990: 191).

Ultimately, however, the financial success of Nanook of the North stemmed from a reliance on a form in which, as Grierson observed, factual ‘raw material’ was structured into a dramatized narrative. The formal structure of Nanook of the North was, in commercial and aesthetic terms, an impressive achievement. Nanook of the North: dramatized narrative Nanook of the North deals with a family of Itivimuit, a group of Inuit living on the shore of Hopewell Sound in Québec. The narrative of this silent film involves a series of simple experiences and daily routines: Nanook repairs a kayak, he and his family travel to a trading post to trade their furs, Nanook fishes in the frozen sea and hunts a walrus, the family builds an igloo and retires for the night.

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