Archive for March 25th, 2009
Ross McElwee At Work
In this article, basically it’s an interview with Ross McElwee, who is the director of Time Indefinite and Sherman’s March. McElwee is a contemplative filmmaker who focuses on the people and events of his life and adds a new dimension to cinema verite by including a voice-over to accompany almost every scene. “Cinema verite”, which means “truth cinema”, innovative filmmakers should personalize their subject to achieve “cinema verite”. Cinema verite built upon foundations of documentary film by adding images from the filmmaker’s actual experiences. They first introduce what’s traditional cinema. Traditional cinema is film that provides the viewer with a portrait of fictitious persons and places, which allow the viewer to understand the filmmaker intention. In a documentary film, they use images and stories of real life as its subject. In McElwee’s works, it can be describe as being more self-reflective. He tries to make his film more open up to the world at large by allowing other people to occupy to screen, to have important roles in the film.
“Don’t you ever just watch?”
Documentary about “Crisis movement” recorded by members of the Drew Associates in the early 1960’s are known as cinema verite. One of the documentaries was “ Don’t Look Back”, directed by D.A Pennebaker and co-produce by Richard Leacock, both Drew Associates expatriots, which is an important part of that body works. In “Don’t Look Back”, they chronicles Bob Dylan’s triumphant 1965 tour of England on the heels of his third album, The Times They Are A-Changin’. The documentary follows in the tradition of Robert Drew’s Primary, a documentary heralded as “a revolutionary step and a breaking point in the recording of reality in cinema”. The stylistic elements of the film are restless, wandering movements of lightweight, hand-held cameras, blurred, grainy images of fast, monochrome film. One of the primary philosophical underpinnings of cinema verite is American liberalism, the belief of “enquiring and critical press”. The press is viewed as a sort social watchdog.
In this article it is bout Leni Riefenstahl, who has a great relationship with the Nazi German government during the 19-century. Riefenstahl is great cinematic artists whose stylistic flair and contribution to film form are to be appreciated. Riefenstahl is a photographer as well, pictures that was took by her always shows some version of an ideal presence, a kind of imperishable beauty. During the 1930’s, Riefenstahl was sprung to international fame as a film director. Riefenstahl did not first participate in silent films, and then when sound came in, she then begin to direct her own films, in which she took the starring role. Riefenstahl also directed feature films, and her 1st feature film was released in 1932, The Blue Light. The force of her work is precisely in the continuity of its political and aesthetic ideas.
What is a documentary for?
The Lumiere brothers are the first who created the documentary. So what is a documentary for? According to John Grierson, documentary is a form of media to sent information, to educate, and propaganda as well as creative treatment of reality. During the 1970s, in the western society, filmmakers made documentaries challenging the establishment. From then, documentary became a source for the lesbian and gay filmmakers to speak for themselves and to deal with their lifestyles and also the gay politics. Making a documentary allows people to express their expression and thinking. In one of the article, they said, “every film is a documentary”, and there’s documentaries of wish fulfillment, which is friction, and the other is documentaries of social representation. I personally think that documentary is a source for social representation. Those film will then convey truths if the audience choose to believe. Documentaries of social representation provide aspects of the world we already inhabit and share. Through documentaries, the filmmakers speak for the interest of others, represent the views of individuals, groups, institutions, and also some may be part of the historical world.