Documentaries
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Documentaries
Exploring the importance of documentary films and the different categories they may fall under.
Curated by Calvin Bennett
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What is a Documentary Film? (with picture)

What is a Documentary Film? (with picture) | Documentaries | Scoop.it
A documentary film is a movie that attempts to document reality. Documentary films tend to have a serious agenda, though they...
Calvin Bennett's insight:

Doumentary films are created with a specific purpose relative to our real lives. There are certain elements that are common in documentary films. They share an abundance of information and can also work to persuade their viewers.

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6 Types of Documentary (Bill Nichols)

6 Types of Documentary (Bill Nichols) | Documentaries | Scoop.it
1. Poetic documentaries, which first appeared in the 1920’s, were a sort of reaction against both the content and the rapidly crystallizing grammar of the early fiction film. The poetic mode moved ...
Calvin Bennett's insight:

It is important to know the purpose of any documentary you are watching.  This can be done by knowing what category they fall under. All documentary films can be placed under 1 of these 6 categories. Each category is clearly defined by Bill Nichols.

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Time - A Poetic Documentary

A poetic documentary done by Jamie Leigh of BasicLeigh Films in May 2012
Calvin Bennett's insight:

Poetic documentaries are a lot like actual written poems. The meaning and purpose may not be clear after your first experience with it. Poetic documentaries dont typically have a linear plot but still have a message.

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Breakin the Bay 2010: Observational Documentary

Calvin Bennett's insight:

Observational documentaries do exactly what their name says... They observe.


These documentaties take a "fly-on-the-wall" approach to filming. They take in the the natural action that is taking place without interfering and share their footage with viewers.

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Reflexive Documentary - The Road

Calvin Bennett's insight:

Reflexive doucmentaries are the most difficult to define and the least common of all doucmentary types. The purpose is to get audience to think about "things." Sometimes the "things" can be as simple as how they feel about the road.

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Why Documentary Films Are So Important

Why Documentary Films Are So Important | Documentaries | Scoop.it
Documentaries are filling a vacant space and supplying much needed information which not only keeps us informed but even allows us to organize and take action.
Calvin Bennett's insight:

This goes into depth and explicitly states the importance of documentary films. It discusses how documentaries realistically depict our daily events and also how they draw our attention to important issues. Documentaries are essential to "improving our world, our minds, our common future."

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Nanook Of The North Full Movie

Calvin Bennett's insight:

Nanook of the North is widely known as the world's first ever documentary. This documentary is set in the Canadian Arctic and follows the struggles of Nanook and his family. The film has drawn criticism for having staged scenes but is still widely accepted as a documentary.

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Alco-POP - An Expository Documentary

A short documentary exploring the reaction to Kevin Rudd's tax rise on flavoured alcoholic drinks (alcopops). Directed, produced and edited by Amelia Birnie ...
Calvin Bennett's insight:

Expository documentaries are usually meant to persuade viewers. They normally use the voiceover technique and speak directly to the viewer. The images shown are used to advance the documentary's argument.

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participatory documentary

Calvin Bennett's insight:

Participatory documentaries allow the filmmaker to step out from behind the camera and participate in what they are filming. They interact with the people or things that they are filming.Their presence can cause the footage to be less organic because it may alter how other behave while on camera.

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The Confessional | Performative Documentary | Tom Smith | SD

Calvin Bennett's insight:

Performative documentaries tend to discuss a person's experiences and seek their emotional response to those experiences. There is no limit on what these experiences may be. These documentaries are very personal and unconventional.

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