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Documentary Film Genre

Documentary - General

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"" The Art of the Documentary. By Megan Cunningham. The directors, editors, cinematographers, and producers behind today's most thought-provoking nonfiction films reveal the thought processes, methods, and collaborations that have guided their efforts -- from project conception to developing, producing, shooting, editing, and releasing documentary films. More...
The Art of the Documentary book.

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"" Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction. By Patricia Aufderheide. This concise, crisply written guide takes readers along the diverse paths of documentary history and charts the lively, often fierce debates among filmmakers and scholars about the best ways to represent reality and to tell the truths worth telling. More...

"" Introduction to Documentary. By Bill Nichols. Designed for students in any field that makes use of visual evidence and persuasive strategies, this book spells out the issues and concepts that characterize documentary film and video production and provides the foundational key to further explorations in this exceptionally vital area of filmmaking today. More...

"" Theorizing Documentary. By Michael Renov. A key collection of essays that looks at the specific issues related to the documentary form. Questions addressed include `What is documentary?' and `How fictional is nonfiction?' More...

Documentary - History

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"" Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film. By Erik Barnouw. This classic work on documentary films and filmmaking surveys the history of the genre from 1895 to the 1990s. With the myriad social upheavals over the past decade, documentaries have enjoyed an international renaissance. Barnouw considers the medium in the light of an entirely new political and social climate. More...
Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film book.

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"" The British Documentary Film Movement, 1926-1946. By Paul Swann. This is a political and social history of the British documentary film movement led by John Grierson in the 1930s and 1940s, which was characterized by actuality-based films made outside the commercial industry. The book offers a fresh look at a rare moment in the history of cinema when a different mode of production, philosophy, and source of funding permitted a determined group to create a distinguished body of work. More...

"" Direct Cinema: Observational Documentary and the Politics of the Sixties. By Dave Saunders. A comprehensive study of the direct cinema movement of 1960s America. Through the inquisitiveness of filmmakers such as Robert Drew, D.A. Pennebaker, and Frederick Wiseman, and predicated on innovations such as portable cameras and synchronized sound, direct cinema intimately documented presidential campaigns through the revelers of Woodstock and the dispossessed subjects of Wiseman's "reality fictions." More...

"" A New History of Documentary Film. By Jack C. Ellis and Betsy A. Mclane. An in-depth survey and history of documentary films. Concentrating mainly on the output of the US, the UK, and Canada, the authors outline the origins of the form and then show its development over the next several decades. The book goes on to discuss recent films like Fahrenheit 9/11, IMAX movies, and the development of cable and satellite television outlets. More...

"" States of Emergency: Documentaries, Wars, Democracies. By Patricia Rodden Zimmermann. Looks at the complex sociopolitical context in which documentary and experimental film exists today. It examines the various technologies now used to document wars including wars such as Bosnia, Chiapas, and the Persian Gulf. It also covers that battle between liberal and conservative forces at home over public space. More...

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