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From the earliest actualités to YouTube, factual filmmaking has encompassed a heterogeneity of practices that are linked by their supposed special relationship with the reality they represent. The ways in which these practices are interpreted, however, have relied on audiences’ reception of them, and definition of the term documentary remains open. The module will examine key historical developments and theoretical articulations of documentary as a form encompassing the first films through wartime propaganda, ethnographic film, city-symphonies, cinéma vérité/direct cinema and both more recent feature documentaries and a wide array of non-fiction television genres. It will consider the work of such documentarists and theorists as Dziga Vertov, Robert Flaherty, John Grierson, Leni Riefenstahl, Joris Ivens, Jean Rouch, Fred Wiseman, Errol Morris, Claude Lanzmann, Werner Herzog, Michael Moore, Nick Broomfield and Alex Gibney.