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The Documentary Film for Majors
FILM 386
Spring 2010
Section: 01  

This course explores the history, theory, and practice 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. Students will engage with the issues discussed in class through documentary filmmaking exercises and projects. 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 Weiseman, the Maysles brothers, Emile DeAntonio, Ross McElwee, Marlon Riggs, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Errol Morris, and Michael Moore, among others. This course is open to film majors who have completed FILM450 or FILM451 and may be taken as a production elective.

Essential Capabilities: Designing, Creating, and Realizing, Information Literacy
This 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. This course asks students to engage in the production of documentary texts, and to engage with the tools of filmmaking to shape an argument.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA FILM
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: FILM450 OR FILM451
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUN-21-2024
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