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Which clippings match 'Truth' keyword pg.2 of 6
12 MARCH 2011

Scientists revise their criteria of rationality as they enter new domains

"The conventional model of science, technology and society locates sources of violence in politics and ethics, that is, in the application of science and technology, not in scientific knowledge itself.

The fact–value dichotomy is a creation of modern, reductionist science which, while being an epistemic response to a particular set of values, claims to be independent of values. According to the received view, modern science is the discovery of the properties of nature in accordance with a 'scientific method' which generates 'objective', 'neutral', 'universal' knowledge. This view of modern science as a description of reality as it is, unprejudiced by value, can be rejected on at least four grounds.

All knowledge, including modern scientific knowledge, is built through the use of a plurality of methodologies. As Feyerabend observes:

There is no 'scientific method'; there is no single procedure, or set of rules that underlines every piece of research and guarantees that it is 'scientific' and, therefore, trustworthy. The idea of a universal and stable method that is an unchanging measure of adequacy and even the idea of a universal and stable rationality is as unrealistic as the idea of a universal and stable measuring instrument that measures any magnitude, no matter what the circumstances. Scientists revise their standards, their procedures, their criteria of rationality as they move along and perhaps entirely replace their theories and their instruments as they move along and enter new domains of research (Feyerband, 1978, p. 98).

The view that science is just a discovery of facts about nature does not get support from philosophy either. If scientific knowledge is assumed to give true, factual knowledge of 'reality as it is', then we would have to 'conclude that Newtonian theory was true until around 1900, after which it suddenly became false, while relativity and quantum theories became the truth' (Bohm, 1981, p. 4)."

(Vandana Shiva, 1990)

1). Shiva, V. (1990). 'Reductionist science as epistemological violence'. 'Science, Hegemony and Violence: A Requiem for Modernity'. A. Nandy, Oxford University Press: 314.

Paul Feyerabend, Science in a Free Society (London: New Left Books, 1978).

David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1981).

TAGS

analytical thinkingCartesiancultural valuesdescription of realitydiscoursediscoverydiscursive fieldepistemologyethicsfactual knowledgehierarchy of legitimacyIsaac Newtonknowledge • logical-analytical • logical-analytical paradigmmeasuring instrument • model of science • Modernmodern science • modern scientific knowledge • myth of neutralityobjectiveobjective reality • Paul Feyerband • plurality of methodologies • positivismproperties of naturerationalityreductionism • reductionist science • researchresearch methodsciencescientific knowledgescientific method • scientific options • sociology • stable knowledge • stable rationality • theorytraditiontrust • trustworthy • truthuniversal • universal knowledge • universal methoduniversal rationalityVandana Shiva

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 MARCH 2011

New technical possibilities: synchronous recording of sight and sound

"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).

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TAGS

16mm1950s3-lens turretAlbert Maysles • Arriflex • audio recorderauthorshipcamera technologycapturecinema veritecinematographyconvergencecreative practiceDavid Mayslesdevicedirect cinemadocumentaryDonn A. Pennebaker • Drew Associates • FFL • film truth • filmmakers • fixed focal length • history of cinemainnovationJean Rouch • lightweight • Nagranew technical possibilities • primary focal length • prime lens • realismRichard Leacock • Robert Drew • sight and sound • solution • sound film • soundstage • synchronous recording • technology • telephoto lens • Terrence McCartney Filgate • truthvisual depictionvisual languagezoom lens

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
03 MARCH 2011

The camera's relation to reality is addressed directly by the documentary filmmaker

"The issue of the camera's relation to reality, which permeates the fiction film, is addressed directly by the documentary filmmaker, who has always aspired toward capturing the sight and sound of life in an unobtrusive and impartial manner. The ambivalent nature of the medium, which excludes the human element as an intermediary but nevertheless implies a subjective viewpoint, gives rise to issues concerning the camera's legitimacy to record the 'obscene' object of reality. Questions about what degrees of faithfulness to the truth establish a film as a documentary, and whether such faithfulness is even possible, have accompanied the history of documentary filmmaking since its origin.

In the meantime, partly due to the technological advancements, documentary underwent a revival, and experimentations with the new technology abounded. The answer of 'direct cinema', which included Richard Leacock, Donn A. Pennebaker and the Maysles brothers as its representatives, was a purist approach in which the impact of the observer on the observed had to be kept to a minimum. Interviews, voice–over commentary and any other forms of interaction with the subject matter were considered to contaminate the result of the observation. Others like, Pierre Perrault, used the new equipment to draw meaning from the seemingly insignificant and the quotidian, attempting to find greater meaning in and unity to the whole by observing and bringing together the small elements of everyday life."

(Barbara Bruni, Senses of Cinema)

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TAGS

ambivalence • Andre Bazinauthorial intrusion • Chronicle of a Summer • cinema veritecommentaryconstructed realitydirect cinemadocumentarydocumentary filmmakerdocumentary filmmakingdocumentary truthDonn A. Pennebaker • Edgar Morin • ethnographiceveryday lifeexperimentationfiction filmimpartiality • intermediary • interviewJean Rouch • Lightning Over Water • Maysles Brothersmedium • Nicholas Ray • observation • Pierre Perrault • realityRichard LeacockSenses of Cinema (journal)subjective viewpointtechnological advancements • The Human Pyramid • truth • unobtrusive • voice-over • voice-over commentary

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 FEBRUARY 2011

Maysles Brothers: Salesman (1968)

"A landmark American documentary, Salesman captures in vivid detail the bygone era of the door–to–door salesman. While laboring to sell a gold–embossed version of the Good Book, Paul Brennan and his colleagues target the beleaguered masses–then face the demands of quotas and the frustrations of life on the road. Following Brennan on his daily rounds, the Maysles discover a real–life Willy Loman, walking the line from hype to despair."

(mubi.com)

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TAGS

1968Albert Maysles • all-American • American dreamAmerican lifeBiblebygone era • Charles McDevitt • Charlotte Zwerinconstructed realityDavid Maysles • Death of a Salesman • desperationdirect cinemadocumentary filmdocumentary truth • door-to-door salesman • emotive manipulationethicseverydayfilm • Good Book • hype • James Baker • landmarkMaysles Brothers • Paul Brennan • profilmic • Raymond Martos • realreal-lifesales and profitSalesman (1968) • salesmen • salespeoplesocial realismsocial realitytruth • Willy Loman

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
17 FEBRUARY 2011

Martin Scorsese: ItalianAmerican

"After having made four well–received feature films, among them Mean Streets (1973), an uncompromising story of petty criminals in New York City's Little Italy, and Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), the tale of a single mother's journey to self–sufficiency, Martin Scorsese stepped back briefly from his commercial film career to make a small, deeply personal documentary. Shot on 16mm film in the Manhattan apartment where he grew up, ItalianAmerican is the record of a conversation between Scorsese and his parents, Charles and Catherine. In three–quarters of an hour, the three manage to cover a great deal of ground, most notably the parents' experiences growing up in the rough–and–tumble New York tenements during the early years of the twentieth century. Scorsese's presentation of his parents is highly particularized and subtly nuanced, yet he also manages to make their words speak for the larger immigrant experience. When the setting shifts from the living room to the dining room and everyone sits down to dinner, the mood becomes looser and more animated, with Scorsese and his mother moving into the kitchen for a quick lesson on how to make tomato sauce–or 'gravy,' as Catherine (and an entire generation of Italian Americans) would call it. Throughout, the affection that the three Scorseses have for each other is palpable, as is the respect with which the son presents his parents' story. At the end, Catherine's recipe for her tomato sauce scrolls by on–screen, making ItalianAmerican not only a historical record, but also a family legacy."

(The Museum of Modern Art)

1974. USA. 35mm print, colour, sound, 49 min. Original 16mm materials on indefinite loan from the artist. Preserved in 35mm with funding from the Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Fund.

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TAGS

16mm1974authorship • Catherine Scorsese • Charles Scorsese • direct cinemadocumentary filmfilmimmigrantimmigrant experienceinterviewItalian • Italian American • Italianamerican (1974) • ManhattanMartin ScorseseNew Yorkpersonalpersonal filmrealismsocial historysocial realismsocial realitytruth

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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