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December 2008, Week 4


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Wed, 24 Dec 2008 13:08:07 -0500
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There are two trends/tendencies that might be worth a passing mention.  The steady stream of fake documentaries--fiction in documentary form rather than deceptive documentaries--is interesting though this has so far been used mainly for horror and comedy (including a recent one parodying Moore).  Which itself can make for odd twists: American Zombie is to a large degree and quite deliberately about ethnicity and is so ambiguous that it's almost a blatant artfilm.

Also, I don't know what it might be called but the blurring of documentary distinctions and recreation of neo-realism have been small but consistent, overlapping approaches.  Examples would be works by Kiarostami and Makhmalbaf for the first and Jia Zhang-ke, early David Gordon Green, some Hou, Kiarostami again for the second.  Godard's recent work also plays with (or just ignores) documentary ideas but is typically so idiosyncratic that he's practically his own genre.

Lang Thompson

-----Original Message-----
>From: Patricia Aufderheide <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Dec 22, 2008 7:27 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: [SCREEN-L] documentary film in the last decade?
>I'm writing an entry on documentary film in the last decade, for a film 
>encyclopedia, with an emphasis on authorial, theatrically-oriented 
>documentaries. (I'm noting the distinction between these and more 
>formula-driven, televisual doc production.) Among the artists I've seen as 
>exemplifying the range of expression are Herzog, Morris, Kopple, Guzman, 
>and of course Moore. (I think the fact that these are all well-established 
>has a lot to do with why they were so well-positioned in the theatrical 
>market in the last decade.) I'm wondering if you have recommendations for 
>great new reading to recommend and trends/other artists that are 
>can't-miss in a short entry. Thanks so much! 
>Pat Aufderheide, Professor and Director 
>Center for Social Media, School of Communication
>American University 
>3201 New Mexico Av. NW, #330
>Washington, DC 20016-8080
>[log in to unmask]
>Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite

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