American Documentary Filmmaking in the Digital Age: by Lucia Ricciardelli

By Lucia Ricciardelli

American Documentary Filmmaking within the electronic Age examines the hot demanding situations to the conventions of realist documentary in the course of the lens of battle documentary motion pictures by means of Ken Burns, Michael Moore, and Errol Morris. throughout the 20th century, the discovery of latest applied sciences of audiovisual illustration corresponding to cinema, tv, video, and electronic media have reworked the modes of ancient narration and with it compelled historians to evaluate the influence of recent visible applied sciences at the building of background. This publication investigates the style during which this modern Western "crisis" in historic narrative is produced through a bigger epistemological shift in visible tradition. Ricciardelli makes use of the subject of warfare as depicted in those administrators’ motion pictures to concentration her research and examine the model(s) of nationwide identification that Burns, Morris, and Moore form via their depictions people army activities. She examines how postcolonial reviews of historicism and the appearance of digitization have affected the narrative constitution of documentary movie and the shaping of historic attention via cinematic illustration.

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And although they acknowledge that the images projected onto the screen create an illusion of reality, which is ideologically charged, they also concede that the screen is a point of entry into a world to which spectators relate sensorially and affectively. BREAKING WITH THE CARTESIAN SUBJECT-OBJECT SPLIT:42 THE SPECTATOR’S EMBODIED MIND Currently, there seems to be a general consensus among documentary studies scholars and nonfiction filmmakers that universal knowledge is unattainable. Over the last three decades, documentarians have gradually embraced the idea that the representational process always involves their own enmeshment with the subject under investigation; thus that objectivity is not possible.

47 More importantly, in stressing images of testimony, often from the perspective of minority groups, participatory documentarians openly acknowledge the importance of localized knowledge in the search for historical truths. The participatory approach thus aligns itself with the counter-realist tradition because it focuses on individual interpretations of larger societal issues and discards the masternarratives offered by the expository mode in favor of micronarratives that emphasize differences over similarities, dissent over consensus (see Chapter 7, this volume).

45 Vertov’s reflexive style has indeed been seen as the precursor of the French documentary movement founded by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin in the late 1950s. As Rouch puts it: Cinema Vérité designates not ‘pure truth’ but the particular truth of the recorded images and sounds—a filmic truth [. ]. 3 Collage of frame grabs illustrating the French Cinéma Vérité tradition (left to right): a. Chronicle of a Summer (Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin, 1961) b. Le Joli Mai (Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme, 1963) c.

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