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Which clippings match 'NFB' keyword pg.1 of 1
09 NOVEMBER 2014

Examples of web based non-linear narratives

Bear 71 (2012); Clouds over Cuba (2012); Donnie Darko (film website); Gravity (2003) by Olia Lialina; Here at Home (webdoc); My Boyfriend Came Back from the War (1996) by Olia Lialina; Neon Bible (2007) by Arcade Fire; Prison Valley (2013); Random Paths (2001) by Jody Zellen; Telescopic Text (interactive); The (Former) General in his Labyrinth (2007); The 21 Steps (2008) by Charles Cumming; The Wilderness Downtown (2011) by Arcade Fire; Waterlife (2009); We Choose the Moon (2009); Welcome to Pine Point (2011).


Aaron Koblinalternate reality gameArcade Fire • Arcade Fire (band) • archive footage • B-Reel (digital production company) • Banff National Park • Bear 71 (2012) • Charles Cumming • Chris Milk • Clouds over Cuba (2012) • Cuban Missile Crisis • David Dufresne • digital storytelling • Donnie Darko (film website) • Google Maps • Gravity (2003) • grizzly bear • Here at Home (webdoc) • hypermediainteractive digital narrativesinteractive documentaryinteractive experienceinteractive mediainteractive multimedia documentaryinteractive multimedia video • interactive online story • interactive storytellinginteractive web documentary • Jeremy Mendes • Jody Zellen • Joe Davis • Kevin McMahon • Leanne Allison • Michael Simons • Mohsin Hamid • My Boyfriend Came Back from the War (1996) • narrative nonfictionNational Film Board of Canada • Neon Bible (2007) • new mediaNFB • non-linear narrative • Olia Lialina • Paul Shoebridge • Philippe Brault • Prison Valley (2013) • Random Paths (2001) • Telescopic Text (interactive) • The (Former) General in his Labyrinth (2007) • The 21 Steps (2008) • The Wilderness Downtown (2011) • Tool of North America • travelogue • Waterlife (2009) • We Choose the Moon (2009) • We Tell Stories • web based non-linear narrativesweb documentarywebdoc • Welcome to Pine Point (2011)


Simon Perkins
09 NOVEMBER 2009

Expanding the narrow definitions of documentary animation

"The term 'animated documentary' can still upset a truth–seeking purist. But over the last few years our understanding of what a documentary is has expanded from the narrow direct cinema/cinema vérité definition of the 1970s and the 1980s. A more inclusive definition with room for both classic documentaries like the European city symphonies of the 1920s and the personal film essays of the 1990s and the 2000s is now gaining support.

There was a close connection between animation and documentary filmmaking in Europe in the 1920s (Walter Ruttman, Hans Richter, Dziga Vertov) and in the UK in the 1930s (John Grierson, Len Lye, Norman McLaren). This close connection continued at the National Film Board of Canada after World War II and through to this day. Even Hollywood's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences accepted the animated documentary as documentary proper by giving the Oscar to McLaren (Neighbours, 1952) and Saul Bass (Why Man Creates, 1968). The direct cinema/cinema vérité movements and the total dominance of TV documentaries closely based on journalism have dominated the documentary tradition since the 1960s. But postmodernist thinking combined with more individual/personal artistic filmmaking have brought the artistic elements of the European documentaries of the 1920s and 1930s back. And this scene has also opened up for the modern animated documentary.

At the NFB the filmmakers never stopped making animated documentaries, and a similar tradition has been kept alive in the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden and Norway. I believe a major reason for this is the social democratic political thinking that lies behind both the ideology of the NFB and the film politics in Scandinavia. The film industry deserves state funding because the films play a vital role in our democracy."

(Gunnar Strøm, March 2005, 'How Swede It Is ...and Danish and Norwegian: Scandinavian documentary animation', p.13,

Fig.1 Monika Forsberg & Susie Sparrow 2006, We Believe in Happy Endings



Simon Perkins

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