Richard Kilborn
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Reflections on longitudinal documentary
Form and function
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Making a longitudinal documentary has certain points in common with ethnographic filmmaking. Producers of long docs are more concerned with quietly tracing and chronicling the lives of others in a way calculated to elicit a more reflective and even at times philosophical response from the audience. Viewed in its entirety, The Children of Golzowhas has stronger claim than any of its counterparts to have performed a chronicling function. Operating in the longitudinal mode allows for several different approaches to filming, dependent on the medium in which the filmmaker is working, on the wishes or policies of the funding agent and on particular design features incorporated into the original project. Any discussion about the rival merits of fixed interval and arrhythmic approaches also has to take into account the role of the respective sponsoring institution.

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Taking the long view

A study of longitudinal documentary


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