Jeremy, you asked me if I had any thoughts about performance in documentary. I have a couple, but I am sure you and those who are participating in the current discussion of documentary will have more. It is a rich and relatively unexplored area. In my own work I have just barely touched on this area. In Picture Personalities I was interested in moving away from a purely formal, descriptive analysis of gesture and expression to a more institutionally based view of the actor and acting. It struk me struck me that a formally similar image could appear in a documentary, a piece of animation and a fiction film and only in the latter case would we consider the image to contain actors and acting. I know this is in many ways obvious, but foro me it led to the kinds of questions about the actor that Foucault asks about the author. I know things aren't quite this simple. Notions of performance (and perhaps acting?) do enter strongly into our experience of documentary. For me this is clearest in investigative documentaries such as one sees in 60 Minutes where the performance and subsequent unmasking of lies is given such emphasis. But performance may come to the fore most commonly when we sense that subjects are behaving and reacting in ways they would not were it not for the presence of the camera. In this sense performance is given a negative v alue (in contrast to peprformance in fiction films) as something that compromises the authenticity of the work. This way of assessisng performance has a great deal of force and I often feel swayed by it. But I think one of the things that fascinated me about The R eal World was its studied inauthenticity. I don't mean to celebrate (too strong a word in any case) something just because it's fake. But I wonder how much an aesthetics of authenticity restrestricts th e p ossibilities of performance in documentary. I also wonder if pepeople have favorite examples of documentaries (Chris Marker's work seems famous for this) that challenge that aesthetic directly. There is a third way ini which performance enters into documentary that perhaps corresponds to Bill Nichol's notion of "social actors." In this sense we are all constantly "on stage," performing roles, etetc. My fav orite installment of the Muncie Indiana series (I think Henry mentioned it; I've forgotten the title) was one about a family-run Shakey's Pizza Parlor. The most moving thing about it was the father's performance--his attempt to keep his chin up and maintain the morale of the family in the face ofo the failure of the business. Performances in this sense are everywhere in documentary and they must contribute much to the form. I'm struck though by the fact that the example I have chosen assumes a performance and a more real identity and set of feelings behind it (the father's devastation, embarrassment, etc.) Is this sort of sense of disjunction necessary for an acknowledgement of performance? I think I've fallen into a trap. Would anyone like to pursue this problem a bit? Finally, I would just note that the performance of social actors occurs at a very different level than the performance of fictional ffilm actors. In an article Jeremy published in his anthology Star Texts I have an embarrassingly brief discussion of performance in film noir and particularly Mary Astor's performance in The Maltese Falcon. Her character is constantly performing--lying to Sam Spade in a very theatrical way. I was interested in identifying a diegetic scene of performance--one that takes place entirely in the fictional world. Her e we see the peprformance of the character, not the actor. Or, let's say we see the actor performing the character performing. It seems to me that the character's performance corresponds much more closely to the level of performance produced by the "social actor." and that the fictional actor must be seen as existing at some level "above" that. The actor of fiction is performing the character as social actor.