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Transcript of DOCUMENTARY MODES
Fictional narratives of imaginary worlds
Hollywood fiction (1910s)
- Absence of “reality”
Poetic documentary (1920s)
Reassemble fragments of the world poetically
- Lack of specificity, too abstract
Expository documentary (1920s)
Directly address issues in the historical world
- Overly didactic
Observational documentary (1960s)
Eschew commentary and reenactment; observe things as they happen
- Lack of history, context
Participatory documentary (1960s)
Interview or interact with subjects; use archival film to retrieve history
-Excessive faith in witnesses, lacks history, too intrusive
Reflexive documentary (1980s)
Question documentary form, defamiliarize the other modes
-Too abstract, lose sight of actual issues
Performative documentary (1980s)
Stress subjective aspects of a classically objective discourse
Loss of emphasis on objectivity may relegate such films to the avant-garde; “excessive” use of style
Tom Hoffer and Richard Alan Nelson in their book, ‘Docudrama on American Television’ 1978 writes docudrama is:
A unique blend of fact and fiction which dramatizes events and historic personages from our recent memory … it is a TV creation based on fact even though it relies on actors, dialogue, sets and costumes to re-create an earlier event.
Categories of docudrama
Biography & entertainment
* Makes up 90% of the docudrama we see on TV
* Emphasis on entertainment and sometimes disregard truth
* Very serious form
* Journalistic in form
* Reveals truth, rather than entertain