I have chosen the 2010, student work “Best Spent” as my focal Korsakow film. The film by these past students incorporated text, video and static image within its presentation allowing a simpler approach to analysing the three key elements of pattern, interface and content that in combination separate a Korsakow film from a classic-styled documentary.
In Marie-Laurie Ryans article, she uses H. Porter Abbots definition of narrative to apply it to new and developing forms of storytelling such as interactive documentary, its dependent on the combination of story and discourse in the film and how the images evoke stories to the mind of the viewer (pp. 248) and the causal relationship relying on the interactive nature of the viewer deciding upon the direction the story and discourse combine.
The title and opening text – a quote by Mahatma Ghandi “At any moment you can choose to create or destroy” aided by the first filmed clip (see Figure 1.1), this allows a foreshadowing into what the filmmakers were attempting to achieve; you can create a positive path or a negative path, both lead to either enrichment or destruction. The filmmaker’s decision to have nine static thumbnails to choose from provides the viewer information on how the content interfaces and therefore offering a variety of avenues in this multi-linear documentary to create a narrative for the individual viewer.
Patterns that appear to recur throughout the interactive documentary are everyday experiences that appear relatable, in a location that is familiar to its particular demographic — suburbia, middle-class housing, interacting with friends or family. The content of the clips the viewer is presented with include time doing activities that can enhance ones happiness, like improving ones appearance (brushing teeth, hair, applying makeup), actions that enhance community or just moments of enjoyment doing interacting with the world that is present around you (playing charades, talking to friends, racing on wheeled chairs). To reinforce the introductory quote of human choice being the distinguishing factor between creation and destruction, they include a friend who has been injured in an accident, however he doesn’t seem disheartened or negative about the experience.
The interfaces between all these different opportunities for a non-linear narrative seem to be connected by certain positive or negative choices. If the viewer were to pick a clip that involved the washing machine (the quote accompanying it reads “we always get things dirty just to clean them up again) (See Figure 1.2) they would be given other options related to keeping things neat or tidy, for example a child brushing his teeth, a mother sweeping the floor.
By using patterns within the content provided, it directs how the viewer connects these patterns together, thereby affording individual interpretation. For example, what I felt the filmmakers set out to achieve was to represent a realism of attitude towards life. So it’s not only the choices we make on a daily basis that impact our ability to create or destroy but our attitudes that coagulate with our choices. With reference to Abbots definition of narrative, this multi-linear film creates a narrative within the individuals mind, because it does evoke a story of our own or identification with the content and is realised by the patterns and the way each clip connects to another.
Ryan, M L 2006 Avatars of Story, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis