Different Modes of Documentary Film Term Paper by Quality Writers

Different Modes of Documentary Film
This paper looks at the six different modes of documentary filmmaking, with a focus on the documentaries "Out of Control: AIDS in Black America" and "Other Faces of AIDs".
# 101901 | 2,614 words | 8 sources | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Mar 05, 2008 in Film (Documentary) , African-American Studies (General)

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The paper discusses the documentary film's six primary modes of filmmaking and illustrates some of these modes with reference to different documentaries. The paper then applies the data to two specific documentaries; "Out of Control: AIDS in Black America" and "Other Faces of AIDs," which address the growing AIDs crisis in the African-American community. The paper shows how in both films the expository mode takes over, creating a sense that the white reporters and filmmakers are lecturing, which undercuts the effectiveness of the message and separates the black community.

Six Primary Modes of Documentary Filmmaking

From the Paper:

"The classification of documentary films into six modes was proposed and explained by Bill Nichols. As Nichols describes these six modes, he suggests that each of the six corresponded to a particular period in documentary filmmaking when that mode prevailed, though all persist and may be found in some films at any given time. The observational mode is considered by some to be the truest form, given that it involves the least direct interference or interpretation by the filmmaker. As Nichols writes, these are films that "eschew commentary and reenactment [and] observe things as they happen" (Nichols, Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary 138). This is considered by many to be the most "documentary-like" of all the documentary forms, and perhaps the best-known practitioner of this form is Frederick Wiseman."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Atkins, Thomas R. "Frederick Wiseman's America: Titicut Follies to Primate." In The Documentary Tradition, edited by Lewis Jacobs, 536-550. New York: Norton, 1979.
  • Bates, Peter. "Truth Not Guaranteed: An Interview with Errol Morris." Cineaste 16 (1989), 3.
  • Cohan, Carly and Gary Crowdus. "Reflections on Roger and Me, Michael Moore, and His Critics." Cineaste, XVII, No. 4 (1990), 25-30.
  • Nichols, Bill. Introduction to Documentary. Indiana University Press, 2001.
  • Nichols, Bill. Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991.

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Different Modes of Documentary Film (2008, March 05) Retrieved October 04, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/different-modes-of-documentary-film-101901/

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