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Are the documentary filmmakers trying to persuade you of a certain point of view - Assignment Example

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Are the documentary filmmakers trying to persuade you of a certain point of view? If so, how does the documentary persuade the viewer of this point of view? What kind of techniques, narratives or other devices does the filmmaker use to persuade its viewers?…
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Are the documentary filmmakers trying to persuade you of a certain point of view
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Download file to see previous pages This power to persuade comes from the fact that documentaries deal with raw reality and in doing so, it becomes more convincing and powerful in many ways. It is not the camera as a passive recording device, but the man behind the camera, with his particular likes and dislikes that makes us attracted to a piece of documentary. From the very beginning, there were distinctly two types of filmmaking. The first one tries to portray the film as a tool of magic, in which we see what is possibly not seen in real life. A larger than life, magical representation. This method was pioneered by George Melies (1861-1938). The second one portrayed film as a capturing device that captures time in the form of image and sound. It captures reality as reality itself. This method was pioneered by Lumiere Brothers (Auguste Lumiere-1862-1954 and Jean Lumiere- 1864-1948). Thus Lumiere Brothers can be considered to be the father of documentary filmmaking. In the documentary mode of filmmaking, the man behind the camera captures the elements inside his frame, but at the same time, he is excluding most of the reality and portraying only a small portion of it. This very act of elimination gives the documentary filmmaker his particular power to emote, persuade and sometimes even provoke. By editing the film, the maker constantly persuades the audience to go through a recording of a series of events in a particular time sequence. We must remember that the very invention of film is based on the fact that somebody wanted to document motion in pictures and this gave rise to the motion picture or film. The very first piece of film by Lumiere Brothers is called: “Workers leaving the Lumiere Factory”. It was screened on 22nd March, 1895. It was a documentary footage of the workers leaving a factory after work. This film presented to the world the idea that reality can be captured and played back by the device of cinematography. The term ‘documentary’ was first used by John Grierson in 1926. He was writing review for Robert Flaherty’s film “Moana”. He wrote that the film had ‘documentary’ value. Thus from the very beginning ‘documentary’ meant a very specific type of film. The propagandist approach can be seen from very early approaches like Dziga Vertov’s “Kino Pravda” (literally means cinematic truth) newsreel series. Vertov believed that a certain sequence of shots taken from samples of real life, will create a meaning, not observable by the naked eye. Thus by interpolating shots and inter-titles, he tried to etch meaning out of seemingly normal life. In the Nazi propagandist films during the time period between two World Wars, like Leni Reifenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will” (1935) we see groundbreaking techniques of aerial photography, camera movement, wide-angle lenses and coupled with that a fantastic use of music to create movement and rhythm. It contained excerpts from speeches delivered by various Nazi leaders including Hitler, interspersed with footages of the gathering of about 70 million Nazi supporters. The film actually tried to portray a vision which was envisioned by Hitler: Germany as a great power having Hitler as its great leader. Thus over the ages we have noticed a tendency in filmmakers to make films where truth is portrayed in a peculiarly forceful manner. The film “Who Killed Vincent Chin” directed by Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Pena begins with the testimony of the stripper Starlene who was ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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