in Phillips 299). In ways documentary films are similar to fictional films. Both types of films have infinite possibilities of topic choices to choose from and have a crew to influence and manipulate the film so that it can be accepted the way they want it represented. However, documentary films are created to be works of informative and factual art. Fictional films, although they may stem from the ground of truth, they branch into the realm of unrealistic entertainment (316).
Weaker versions appeal to something other than physical reality, either by discussing a truth beyond mere appearance or by endorsing psychological realism, a view according to which films are realistic insofar as they engage our ordinary perceptual processed” (Walton, 251). A realistic film absolutely can showcase reality, but the controversy is how realistic does a film have to be, in order to be labelled as a realism film? This of course is very subjective, and ultimately depends on who you ask. Someone who is into hard core realism, would argue that the film would have to basically be a documentary style piece. No elements of fantasy, science fiction, or anything that would stretch the frame of reality as we know it today.
Films such as Nanook of the North can tell a story that is perceived to be reality when in fact the events are staged or not true. This can be done through the editing process, script writing as well as through camera work. Truth is a fuzzy concept and our understanding of reality is so subjective and the line between truth and fiction often becomes blurred. “Documentary film, in the words of Bill Nichols, is one of the “discourses of sobriety” that include science, economics, politics, and history-discourses that claim to describe the “real,” to tell the truth” (Jill, and Ann-Louise, 80). Although this gives a very limited of what non-fiction is and what it can be within film.
Last modified may 21, 2011. Accessed April 4, 2014. http://jdf78.hubpages.com/hub/Reasons-for-American-Entry-Into-WWII. • New York Times, "united states history." Last modified 2011. Accessed April 4, 2014. http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1661.html.
Due to the nature of movies, there are some large disadvantages to using film as a medium for historical portrayal. Movies tend to play up certain character traits or moments in time to further the plotline. The destructiveness and greed of certain characters in this movie, like Aguirre, was certainly exaggerated. These exaggerations often over dramatize the situation, which as a filmmaker is not necessarily a bad thing. In a historical drama, as opposed to a documentary, you have the unsung responsibility to keep the audience interested and entertained.
In Chapter One of his Introduction to Documentary, Nichols’ admits that in regards to providing a definition to the broad documentary form that ‘a concise, overarching definition is possible but not fundamentally crucial’. (cite) Furthermore, Nichols insists that each film which society considers a documentary, must contribute to an ongoing dialogue. This is a value which he argues is of more importance. More importance than the common advantageous goal of defining the form, which would have very little benefit. In his introduction Nichols establishes a structure through outlining three common sense assumptions regarding the newly emerging genre; documentaries are about reality, documentaries are about real people and documentaries tell stories about what really happened.
This is a value which he argues is of more importance - as opposed to the advantageous goal of defining the form. In his introduction Nichols establishes a structure through outlining three basic assumptions regarding the newly emerging genre; documentaries are about reality, documentaries are about real people and documentaries tell stories about what really happened. A positive derived from Nichols perspective is his straightforward approach to defining the documentary. Rather than attempt to give an all-encompassing definition to a documentary (which he previously addressed as difficult and not of fundamental importance), Nichols instead provides three overarching elements which enable many documentary forms to be blanketed by his
It has been asked, "Are reflexive or cinema vérité documentary films more accurate at truthfully representing reality?” This question can be answered many ways. One obvious path is to side with reflexivity, because it is honest about the shortcomings of filmmaking. However, we cannot be so quick to assume to know what the question is asking. The question must be broken down first in order to come to a satisfactory answer. First, a simpler way of thinking about the phrase “truthfully representing reality” is “truth.” Reality and truth are synonymous because by asking what’s true, one is asking what is.
It also attempts to transform the mainstream conventions of characterization, narrative and suppresses the audience suspension of disbelief. The postmodern cinema often rejects modernist conventions by manipulating and maneuvering with conventions such as space, time and story-telling. Furthermore, it rejects the traditional “grand-narratives” and totalizing forms such as war, history, love and utopian visions of reality. Instead, it is heavily aimed to create constructed fictions and subjective idealisms. Postmodern film directors such as Ridley Scott, Woody Allen, Quentin Tarantino, The Coen Brothers, David Lynch, Christopher Nolan and others, make films that are often highly original, by reproducing the very popular mood of anxiety, fear, uncertainty and cynicism that reflects in the general society.
Art cinema utilizes its own set of artistic expression. Hollywood classical films on the other hand, are at odds with the artistic concept, and are considered to be mainstream. When we look at Classical films, we think of the basic Hollywood movie where there is a beginning, middle and end, and the whole movie comes together at the end, with a little bit of romance. In this specific movie, the audience is faced with a confusing dilemma of choosing whether this movie is an art film or a classical film. Most even think it has a documentary approach, but what makes this movie even more successful and even more entertaining, is that it is both art cinema and classical cinema.