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>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?

For one thing "Best in Show" was shot in 16mm and blown-up to 35 for
theatrical release.  It also appears to have been shot in available light
and on actual locations instead of sets, all of which would mimic how many
documentaries work.  Also as you pointed out the hand-held camera and
mis-matched editing do the same thing.  & much of the dialogue appears to
be improvised.  It might be more interesting to see how close this actually
gets to a conventional narrative film; unless I'm mis-remembering the last
third or so practically abandons the fake documentary idea and could easily
have been filmed slick, mounted-camera style without changing the effect of
the film.

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