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Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine

An analysis in regards to Bill Nichol's modes of documentary

Olivia Cameron

on 18 May 2011

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Transcript of Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine

Narrative Structure Edit Visualisations Use of Interview Character & Participant Construction Sound and Music In reference to Bill Nichol's
modes of documentary Plays an essential role in the narrative
Constructed to support Moore's argument
Creates juxtaposition Contradicts what Clinton says- losing his credibility
Audience directly relate the destruction to the actions of Clinton
Juxtaposition is an element of the participation mode
Effctively makes the audience reassess the initial statment in light of another, ofter with the effect of surprise, insight or laughter (Nichols, 2001) Juxtaposition Foreshadowing Puts forward an argument which is then reinforced soon after by an interviewed participant
Gives Moore's argument credibility & reinforces his perspective Wide range of visuals; stills, movies, interviews & a myriad of archival footage
Archival footage gives authenticity & strengthens the spoken narrative
Element of expository Columbine Archival Footage Imperative piece in the film; allows audience to
experience it as it unfolds
Story of the shooting is told through the emergency
audio & reinforced by the footage Michael Moore uses some elements of the expository mode, however the documentary is clearly constructed around his opinion which keeps the documentary predominately in the participatory mode. 'Filmmakers seek to represent broad social issues and historical perspectives through interviews and compilation footage.' (Nichols 2001) There are three main types of interview techniques that Moore utilises;
Pseudo dialogue
Common interview Michael Moore
Voice of the people
Voice of legitimacy
The hero
Charlton Heston
Portrayed as the 'bad guy' References Arthur, P. As stated in: 'Theorizing Documentary', ed. Renov, M. 1993, Routledge, Great Britain
Grierson, J. As stated in: 'Claiming the Real', ed. Winston, B. 2008, Palgrave Macmillian, UK
Nichols, B. 'Representing Reality: Issues & Concepts in Documentary', 1991, Bloomington : Indiana University Press Animation Satirical manner- seeks to belittle the 'White American Man'
Compliments the doco due to juxtaposition & irony already used- adds to the humourous side Moore opposes Grierson by dramatising news reels 'The Black Man' Audio Collage Narration Classic element of expository documentary
‘The expository mode addresses the viewer directly, with titles or voices that propose a perspective, advance an argument or recount history.’ Nichols (2001)
Moore: ‘voice of authority’ commentary
Paul Arthur (1980)- The use of voice over is telling the viewers information; not showing them Music as Irony Illustrates the emphasis on the negative aspect of the 'Black Man' in American society
Fear is heightened by non-diegetic orchestral music- dramatising the news clippings Louis Armstrong’s ‘Wonderful World’ played over the violent history of the USA
Lyrics heard completely contradict the images
Emphases the irony of the situation In Conclusion...
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