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January 2001, Week 4


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 28 Jan 2001 11:53:24 -0500
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i saw *best in show* last night and was struck by the
effect of "reality" or authenticity that the mockumentary
achieved . . . many of the factors that contributed to
this effect can readily be inferred from careful viewing
. . . these include such elements as apparently unmotivated
camera motion, unorthodox editing [flagrant violations of
continuity conventions], improvised [or improvisational]
and overlapping dialogue, and assorted other elements of
editing and mise-en-scene  [although obviously it will
be necessary to see the film it a few times to see exactly
how these elements are made to work] . . .

but over and above these there were certain qualities
of [i surmise]  the cinematography itself,  that added
immeasurably to the feeling of reality and made much
of the film so convincing . . . some of these, such
as the occasional use of video rather than filmic images,
were clear enough . . . but many of these qualities  cannot
be inferred from simply viewing the film, at least not by
someone like myself whose knowledge of film, cameras,
lenses, filters, etc. is minimal . . . is there anyone out
there who can provide somewhat more useful insight into
exactly what technical tricks this film [and other similar
films] use to distance themselves from more
conventional narrative films [however "realistic"] and
to create such a powerful simulacrum of the real?

thanks in advance for any guidance

mike frank

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