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France-Actualités and beyond
Maryann De Julio

… Aujourd’hui … (‘In the past … today’) ( Bibliothèque du Film, GD 400 and GD 401 ). Importantly, Germaine Dulac established France-Actualités (associated with Gaumont), a ‘French Company of Talking Newsreels and Documentary Films’, in November 1931, which could compete with the five or six major international newsreel journals then in existence, including US newsreels Paramount and Fox Movietone. Best known for its weekly sound newsreel journal France-Actualités (1932–1935), whose modern perspective revitalized the field, the

in Germaine Dulac
Lynn Anthony Higgins

This chapter will examine the predilection for documentary modes of representation that runs through Tavernier’s career from its beginnings. We have seen that even within the artifices of fiction, documentary effects can be produced by means of extensive background research, or by inviting actors to contribute their own decor and speak in their own idiom, or by intervening directly or obliquely in public debates. His avowed aspiration, inherited from the Lumière brothers, to ‘montrer le monde au monde’ means that

in Bertrand Tavernier
David MacDougall

12 Documentary and its doubles I n his 1991 book Musical Elaborations Edward Said argued that the playing of Western classical music had ceased to be connected to ordinary life. It had become an ‘extreme occasion’ performed almost exclusively by professionals in the concert hall and recording studio. New works by contemporary composers were no longer eagerly awaited by the public. Concerts were now largely frozen in the orchestral and operatic repertoires of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Music education was perfunctory in schools and few people

in The looking machine
Christophe Wall-Romana

5 Documentaries and sound films Epstein’s filmography contains roughly an equal number of films that can be labelled fiction and documentary – a little over twenty in each category. This will likely come as a surprise to the many cinephiles who know him only as the filmmaker of La Glace à trois faces and La Chute de la maison Usher. Unfortunately, only two of Epstein’s documentaries are accessible outside of archives, and very little critical attention has been devoted to this substantial part of his œuvre.1 Indeed, in-depth research on the documentary work of

in Jean Epstein
Emma Wilson

Resnais’s early documentaries are meticulous, exquisitely edited works, encompassing both his interest in art – the visual arts and his own art as filmmaker – and his constant attempt to create a visual testimony to traumatic history. These documentaries offer models (sometimes in miniature) of the spectral and architectural worlds found in his feature films. Bounoure argues that the themes explored

in Alain Resnais
Fires Were Started and The Silent Village
Keith Beattie

Documentary reconstruction and ­prognostication: Fires Were Started and The Silent Village 4 After the experiments with sound and image relations in Listen to Britain, Jennings’ next films, Fires Were Started and The Silent Village, involved a different variety of experimentation in the form of ­dramatisation and re-enactment. Such practices were ingrained within the British documentary movement, though a heightened degree of dramatisa­ tion, ­especially in Fires Were Started, raised issues of ­authenticity.1 The question of authenticity in representation

in Humphrey Jennings
Hillsborough, Sunday, Dockers, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
Steve Blandford

Documentary and historical drama: Hillsborough, Sunday, Dockers, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot 3 In deciding how best to categorise some of Jimmy McGovern’s work, one of the most difficult decisions related to Gunpowder, Treason and Plot (dir. Gilles Mackinnon, first broadcast on BBC2 on 14 and 21 March 2002). Structurally it resembles a miniseries, but with only two episodes, each two hours long, it does not provide the same kind of narrative space as most work of this kind for television. In other ways it has much in common with McGovern’s single films. It has

in Jimmy McGovern
David MacDougall

I N documentary films the observer usually remains invisible, unless caught by a reflection in a mirror. In Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window ( 1954 ) the observer is fully visible, a photojournalist stuck in his apartment with a broken leg. The film returns to him again and again as he watches his neighbours, peering through binoculars and eventually using the telephoto lens of his camera to watch them more closely. In this way the film gradually builds up a composite image of people in

in The art of the observer
Form and function
Richard Kilborn

1 Reflections on longitudinal documentary: form and function Most documentaries, it might be claimed, have a longitudinal component. In contrast to news and current affairs programmes that will concentrate on providing brief updates or snapshot accounts of the contemporary scene, documentary productions are generally more concerned with longer-term developments and with the wider ramifications of a subject.1 Sometimes, perhaps most memorably in the case of a documentary such as Ross McElwee’s Sherman’s March, the very process of painstaking investigation and

in Taking the long view
Jane Roscoe
and
Craig Hight

This chapter will outline the framework which we use to differentiate mock-documentary texts from each other, and which forms the basis of the discussions contained within the following chapters. Our approach essentially involves identifying three main ‘degrees’ of ‘mock-docness’ within the texts we have analysed, degrees which are derived especially from the type of relationship which a text

in Faking it