These films have been chosen due to their belonging to the docu-fiction genre, as well as their setting on beaches.Robert Flaherty’s name conjures up an array of complex debates with regard to films and documentaries…
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Man Aran Date of Release: October 18th 1934 Director: Robert Flaherty Starring: Michael Dillane, Colman King, Maggie Dirrane 4. Moana Date of Release: January 7th 1966 Director: Robert Flaherty Starring: Fa'agase Su'a-Filo, Ta'avale 5. White Shadows in the South Seas Date of Release: November 10th 1958 Director: W.S. Dyke Starring; Irvon Thalberg Catalogue/Program Essay These films have been chosen due to their belonging to the docu-fiction genre, as well as their setting on beaches. Robert Flaherty’s name conjures up an array of complex debates with regard to films and documentaries, ethics, how others are represented, the director’s role, argument, ideology, gendered imagery, collaboration, ethnography, non-preconception, community, fantasy, voice, idealized or realistic cinematography, racialized bodies, and deep immersion in one the beach field (Usai, 2008). Flaherty worked or directed only 10 fiction films in his entire career. Nanook of the North, which was released in 1922, the Louisiana Story, released in 1948, and Man of Aran, released in 1934 are the popularly analyzed and recognized of his films. This, in part, is caused by the fact that these are the films that were dissected and filmed by his widow and collaborator Frances Flaherty, in the mid to late 50s, which she founded following his death at the Film Seminars held for Robert Flaherty (Christopher, 2009). She did this in order to advance his thoughts on artisanal filmmaking that he used as a way of exploration. Moana, which was released in 1926, was rarely screened because of theatrical legalities of copyright that he faced from paramount. Famous Players Lasky, a Hollywood studio that was later merged with paramount Studios and was directed in Samoa, financed the film for production (Christopher, 2009). The film occupies an obscured and awkward position in the legacy left by Flaherty. It is neither a well thought out narrative of silent film neither is it a documentary exemplar. It is what documentary scholars have long considered as among the very first in the genre of docu-fiction. The response by Famous Players Lansky, which was lukewarm, to Moana took the Flaherty’s towards views that were anti-Hollywood, especially following the holding back of exhibition and marketing by the studio after its debut in NYC (Christopher, 2009). Following his departure from MGM production of the film White Shadows of the South Seas, he went on to exhort that doing business with Hollywood was like sailing in a boat with a glass bottom over a sewer. Famous Players Lansky, in the mid 20s, looked towards the lucrative nature of overseas markets. Walter Wagner, a producer at the studio, imported realist methods of filmmaking that connected profit motives with the increase of world knowledge through foreign film-shoots (Rugg & Sedwick, 2009). He advocated for natural drama, which is a film that constructs stories through focusing on native actors, family, and animals in their natural habitats. Ernest Schoesdack and Merian Cooper were incorporated into the studio and taken to Thailand for the production of Chang in 1926. Stark Love in 1927 was about N. Carolina’s mountain people, Redskin in 1929 dealt with the Navajo people, and the Vanishing Redskin In 1926 dealt with the Monument Valley. Within this context of larger markets and studios, Lasky approached Flaherty for the production of another Nanook of the North, for which he was given a blank production check (Rugg & Sedwick, 2009). Polynesian cultural imagination and fantasy as a paradise that was pastoral and uncontaminated countered industrialization and urbanization’s realities and infused it into the post WWII popular culture (Obrist &
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