What I hope to get out from this semester was to progress from last semester and put things right. I learned a great deal last semester from sound production, but this semester I also learned more about adobe premiere, and colour grading. This being my final semester, I’m wanting to go out on a high and hopefully get a DI. Documentary film making is an interesting element in film making and is different and more serious compared to last semester. Last semester was more comical, and I had a good time producing my film last semester, but I also had some disagreements with some of my group members. Thankfully though, this semester things have turned out slightly different.
Question 3: In this week’s lecture, scenes from Scott Rue’s ‘Four Images’, Brian Hill’s ‘Drinking for England’ and Chantal Akerman’s ‘D’Est’ were screened. Choose one of these, and consider, in a single paragraph, what might have intrigued, interested, displeased or repelled you.
I felt that this documentary
Question 4: Listen to the first 10 minutes of Glenn Gould’s radio documentary, “The Idea of North”. Files are here (experimenting with different sizes and file types) If possible, use headphones. Record your impressions in a paragraph or two.
Glen Gould’s Radio Documentary piece is very interesting and abstract to say the least. At first I was confused with exactly what was going on, but after about three minutes of listening to this piece, one voice began to outline some exposition and the names of the characters involved. This helped me a lot as I started to understand more clearly what was going on here. From what I gather these people are giving some type of autobiographical statement/reflecting on their own personal experiences in Northern Canada.
The voices also at times overlap each other with long first hand monologues, spoken directly to the unheard interviewer. I thought this was a very attention-grabbing and stimulating piece to listen to. It was creative and experimental. I feel like more research in needed though to full understand the reasons behind this collaborative piece.
Based on the week 4 reading on Fiction and Notification: The Great Divide by Samuel Johnson, the two points that stood out for me were.
(1) Firstly. he mentions that one of the most interesting things in studying the documentary field is the complex relationship between fiction, nonfiction and documentary as categories, and how they overlap.
(2) Secondly, is that central to an understanding of ‘documentary’ is the spectatorial activity of actually interpreting the material, something that Dai Vaughran and Noel Carroll has discussed.
This week’s reading by Pawel Pawlikowski focuses mainly on form as a filmic convention within documentary filmmaking. Pawlilkowski looks closely at the way documentary filmmakers focus on the specifics, where the deeper elements that bring film stories to life. The first point that I took from the reading was one of the fundamental aspects of this article, where Pawlikowski suggests that in a world where video cameras are omnipresent and where everything is being filmed all the time, it is essential that the film-makers concentrate on the film-making as opposed to recording. ‘Form’ is what can salvage the documentary amid the increasingly meaningless glut of images.
Another point was that the most succesful documentaries nowadays seem to be those made by people with a lot of time on their hands, people who can stalk their subjects for five or ten years or however long it takes them to distil a “human story” which then works as a kind of cheap feature film. As this approach takes time and involves big risks, it doesn’t really suit TV. Some films do however make it to the cinema screens and feature film producers are getting in on the act, so maybe these feature documentaries do have a future.
In the short film ‘End of the Line’ screened during the lecture, I think that ‘End of the Line’ achieved what they set out to do. Overall the short film tells a story about the people of Broken Hill’s idea or impression of their own town and the mentality of the people. My initial impressions of the documentary was a simple interview piece about people expressing their personal views and lives in Broken Hill. It really is almost a piece about the battle between different generations and how culturally different people see the world now as to how they did many years ago. The film describes how the history and significance that once was Broken Hill is becoming lost in time, which was pretty moving. I also feel that they did a wonderful job and addresses the issue well in such a short space of time.
Overall I found that it was a pretty interesting and fascinating short film. It was pretty creative and I think the producers do a great job at capturing the overwhelming conditions of the Broken Hill area. There were some very interesting elements. I liked the way the participants in the film were presented. What was evident in the film the appreciation and praise that the older generations of people have for this small historical country town. They seem to love the freedom and versatility of the landscape, taking pride in treasuring where they live and what they have, where as the younger generation I feel, seem to think of Broken Hill as a dead end with limited opportunities, resources and flexibility.