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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
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
Working experiences of a non-fiction filmmaker
Author: Alan Rosenthal

This book shows what happens from the birth of the idea until a film is completed. This means covering all the hurdles, and the bumps, and other obstacles along the way, including inspiration, proposal writing, finance and marketing. The book shows how the author developed, produced, and worked on seven films. Four are major documentaries, the fifth a feature-length docudrama, and two are works in progress. All have and had multiple problems. None of the completed films were easy to make. The book discusses the pros and cons of working with partners, and shows what happens when there is harmony, or where things break down through disagreements. The problem of raising a budget comes up in all the films, and is discussed most thoroughly in the book. The book also addresses the difficulties of working internationally, and shows how infinite patience and stubbornness can be required when working with a broadcast station. At the end of several of the chapters the author has also added a short section called 'Production notes.' These notes usually amplify and explain further some central problem raised in the chapter. One of the chapters in the book deals with the specifics of making one particular family film. The notes which follow, however, tell people about making family film in general.

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
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
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
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
Michael Temple

have doubted ‘what people are going to think about it’. Indeed, Vigo’s independent entrance into cinema, À propos de Nice , is now considered nothing less than a documentary classic, a particularly fine example of the ‘city-portrait’ genre that flourished across the film-world in the late 1920s and early 1930s. It stands alongside such celebrated works as Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand’s Manhatta (1921), Walter Ruttmann

in Jean Vigo
Situating the mock-documentary
Jane Roscoe and Craig Hight

In the previous chapters, the discussion focused on developments within the continuum of factual texts which provide part of the wider context for the emergence of mock-documentary. In this chapter the intention is to position the mock-documentary form in relation to one of the fictional forms which similarly works to complicate any apparent divisions between fact and fiction

in Faking it