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The Documentary Film
FILM 385
Spring 2010
Section: 01  

This course explores the history, theory, and aesthetics of nonfiction filmmaking from the origins of cinema to the present day. We will trace the emergence and development of documentary conventions and genres, paying particular attention to how structural and stylistic choices represent reality and shape viewer response. In class discussion, we will explore topics central to nonfiction filmmaking, including how documentary has been defined and redefined; how filmmakers and theorists have perceived the relationship between documentaries and the realities they represent; what conceptions of truth have guided the work of documentary filmmakers and theorists; the role of the documentary filmmaker as witness, mediator, instigator, promoter, and/or participant; documentary as social advocacy; the autobiographical impulse; the use of reflexivity; and the ethics of documentary filmmaking. Screenings will include films directed by Robert Flaherty, Dziga Vertov, Pare Lorentz, Basil Wright, John Grierson, Luis Bu˝uel, Leni Riefenstahl, Jean Rouch, Alain Resnais, Frederick Wiseman, the Maysles brothers, Emile DeAntonio, Ross McElwee, Marlon Riggs, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Errol Morris, and Michael Moore, among others. This course may be taken by nonfilm majors as a general education course and by majors as a film history/theory elective.

Essential Capabilities: Information Literacy
The course involves analysis of rhetoric, selection, and organization of visual documentary information. Students confront the stakes of representation of fact and objectivity in the film medium.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA FILM
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (FILM-MN)(FILM)(HRAD-MN)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUN-14-2024
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