"But as a strategy and a form, the interview-oriented film has problems of its own. ... the film-maker with intertitles, making patently clear what has been implicit all along: documentaries always were forms of re-presentation, never clear windows onto 'reality'; the film-maker was always a participant-witness and an active fabricator of meaning, a producer of cinematic discourse rather than a neautral or all-knowing reporter of the way things truely are."
(David MacDougall p.260, 1985)
MacDougall, David. "The Voice of Documentary", in Movies and Methods: Volume II, Bill Nichols ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.
Fig.1 Dana Perry and her son Evan Scott Perry, at age 3, HBO documentary "Boy Interrupted" [http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/boy-interrupted]
"Rob Nilsson pioneered small analog and digital formats and created a low-budget cinematic style called direct action. He established the Tenderloin Action Group (now called the Tenderloin yGroup) in 1990, a drama workshop for homeless people, inner-city San Francisco residents and professional actors. He was the first video maker to blow up small-format video to 35 mm film for international theatrical distribution. His work has screened at festivals in the United States and abroad, including Mill Valley, Toronto, Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Locarno. Nilsson's work has been honored with numerous awards, including the Camera d'Or at Cannes and the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival (he was the first American Director to win both)."
(Media Arts Fellow)
Fig.1 scene from Rob Nilsson (1987). "Heat and Sunlight", Betacam SP to 35mm film transfer.
"An interactive system defines a virtual space, whether the system’s interface provides access to the inhospitable planet of Stroggos or the Microsoft Windows desktop. Users of both these systems interact with a place, one created by a computer and in which users and computational agents carry out their individual and collective activities. The intuitive and often-discussed benefit of a well-designed interface metaphor is that it allows users to carry over conventions from their 'real' experience when performing tasks within the interface world.
Another key and often unarticulated value of an interface arises from the interface’s mimetic quality. While mimesis is often discussed by narrative theorists as a contrast to diegesis, distinguishing the concepts of showing versus telling (Aristotle), my emphasis here is to distinguish between an artifact that is intended to be an imitation of something, but is not really that thing and an artifact that is intended to be mistaken as that thing. An example of the former case would be a film of a fictional account of the D-Day landing on the beaches of Normandy. An example of the later might be a virtual reality system displaying photo-realistic graphical images of a physical space. D-Days stories like The Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan are, in some ways, imitations, and so are more mimetic than VR systems whose design is intended to '...produce synthetic images visually and measurably indistinguishable from real world images.' (Greenberg 1999)(pg. 45)."
(R. Michael Young, 1999)
Greenberg, D. P. 1999. 'A framework for realistic image synthesis'. Communications of the ACM 42(8):45-53.
1). R. Michael Young (1999). 'Notes on the Use of Plan Structures in the Creation of Interactive Plot', Papers from the 1999 Fall Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Symposium
"Published in 1972 and based on a BBC television programme of the same name, this is a very influential text on art criticism. Although the book and programme make the same case, they do so in slightly different ways, and the programme is well worth watching. For the photographer, the book has the advantage of putting photography in the context of western art. For the student new to critical theory, it has the advantage of being produced for a mass audience, and has as a central aim the de-mystification of art. These two points make it relatively easy to understand. A further advantage this book has is that many students have not had the opportunity to study photography, but have studied art, and so the book presents a logical progression for them when they start to study photography.
The television programme is divided into four sections and although the book is divided into seven chapters (three being made up solely of images), the book also covers four areas."
(John Berger, 1990)
John Berger (1990). 'Ways of Seeing: Based on the BBC Television Series', Penguin
"In the late 1950s major breakthroughs began to occur in the technology available to filmmakers. These occasioned what can be thought of either as something totally new under the artistic sun or merely as new ways of doing old things. What they permitted was the synchronous recording of sight and sound outside the confines of soundstages and studio back lots. Virtually anything that could be seen and heard could now be captured on sound film almost anywhere. These new technical possibilities did not dictate the uses to which they would be put, however. One of those uses was that of the Americans who called what they were doing direct cinema. Another was that of Frenchman Jean Rouch, who coined the term cinema verite (film truth) to apply to his own work."
(Jack Ellis and Betsy McLane, 2005, p.208)
Jack Ellis and Betsy McLane, A New History of Documentary Film, (2005), 208-325.
Fig.1 Albert (right) with David Maysles on the set of 'Grey Gardens' (1975).