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Mock-documentary and the subversion of factuality
Authors: Jane Roscoe and Craig Hight

There are any number of fiction and non-fiction texts which challenge, articulate or reinterpret many of the central tensions within the documentary form. Of the non-fiction texts, the most significant have perhaps been reflexive documentaries. This book is primarily intended to introduce ideas about mock-documentary to students and academics working within media and documentary studies. It examines those fictional texts which to varying degrees 'look' (and sound) like documentaries. This group of texts have been labelled using a variety of terms; 'faux documentary', 'pseudo-documentary', 'mocumentary', 'cinéma vérité with a wink', 'cinéma un-vérité', 'black comedy presented as in-your-face documentary', 'spoof documentary' and 'quasi-documentary'. The book includes some discussion of the tensions within the genre, in particular where different codes and conventions appeal to competing, often contradictory, cultural understandings of how 'reality' can be represented. It looks to outline the nature of the more recent expansion of textual concerns and representational strategies employed by documentary filmmakers. Mock-documentary represents only one instance of a continuum of fictional texts which are characterised by a blurring of the line between fact and fiction. The book compares these contrasting screen forms, concentrating especially on the nature of the distinctive relationships which they each construct towards the documentary genre. It introduces a schema of three 'degrees' of mock-documentary, in part reflecting the diversity in the nature and extent of these texts' appropriation of documentary aesthetics. A speculative genealogy for the mock-documentary as a distinctive screen form is outlined.

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Mock-documentary and the subversion of factuality
Jane Roscoe and Craig Hight

. This group of texts have been labelled using a variety of terms; ‘faux documentary’ (Francke, 1996 ), ‘pseudo-documentary’, ‘mocumentary’, ‘cinéma vérité with a wink’ (Harrington, 1994 ), ‘cinéma un-vérité’ (Ansen, 1997 ), ‘black comedy presented as in-your-face documentary’, ‘spoof documentary’ and ‘quasi-documentary’ (Neale and Krutnik, 1990 ). We favour the term ‘mock-documentary’ (including the

in Faking it
Mapping female subjectivity for the turn of the millennium
Jo Evans

, 2002 : 7) (‘more concentrated, less choral and perhaps, as a result, more stark and intense’). She had directed a short, pseudo-documentary on domestic abuse, starring Luis Tosar, and her research with Alicia Luna for a feature-length film on the same issue led them to the uncomfortable conclusion that if they were going to represent an abusive relationship ‘teníamos que aceptar que estábamos contando

in Hispanic and Lusophone women filmmakers
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Habana Blues and the framing of diasporic cubanía
Susan Thomas

days. Many of them were musicians and saw their own experience reflected on the screen. Additionally, the knowledge that several of their friends and colleagues in Madrid’s Cuban music community had shared their stories with Zambrano raised questions about how closely the film’s plot adhered to individual biographies. They tended to see the film as a pseudo-documentary about prominent local musicians, especially the members

in Screening songs in Hispanic and Lusophone cinema
Robert Burgoyne

compositing, warping, and morphing – that Forrest Gump and Obsessive Becoming employ, it does approximate the effect of compositing and morphing by splicing together documentary footage and staged sequences with great rapidity. It also uses pseudo-documentary sequences – staged sequences made to look grainy, badly lit, and scratched so as to resemble 16 mm documentary footage – and places existing

in Memory and popular film
Will Higbee

Haine and Assassin(s) quite clearly fit with the thematic concerns of new realism – namely its approach to the ‘political’ and sympathetic focus on marginalised youth – stylistically, they are quite distinct from the naturalistic, pseudo-documentary aesthetic that dominates this new wave of social cinema from the 1990s. Visually, Kassovitz draws on a stunning, seductive and carefully composed

in Mathieu Kassovitz
Situating the mock-documentary
Jane Roscoe and Craig Hight

moves between styles yet, as Loshitzky argues, the final product does not contain contradictions; its transitions from style to style are invisible, with the film never calling attention to itself as a complex constructed text. Horowitz ( 1997 ) suggest that the utilisation of a ‘pseudo-documentary’ look for many scenes conveys both the impersonality of history and an intimacy with its key players, yet

in Faking it
Silence, historical memory and metaphor
Maria M. Delgado

pseudo-documentary feel (including a recourse to non-professional actors) and a reliance on handheld camera work. Grouped under the title New Argentine Cinema, the filmmakers who emerged in the years between 1995 and 2002 embraced a variety of styles and genres, from the black, droll humour of Martín Rejtman’s Silvia Prieto (1999) to the austere black-and-white long single takes and sparse narrative of Trapero’s Mundo grúa

in Spanish cinema 1973–2010
David Murphy and Patrick Williams

equipment meant that this early version was never released, but this experience had at least given Mambety his breakthrough. This precocious talent was confirmed with his short film Contras’ City , a pseudo-documentary taking a female tourist on a guided tour of Dakar on the back of a horse and cart. The film takes a comic and affectionate look at the city, and its humorous juxtaposition of the traditional and the modern, as well

in Postcolonial African cinema
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Le Salaire de la peur
Christopher Lloyd

spectator the vicarious 110 henri-georges clouzot pleasure of ritualised violent confrontation in a fantasised universe. Reviewing the film in 1953, André Bazin praised its ‘synthèse originale et positive du neo-réalisme italien et des conventions de la mise en scène américaine’ (quoted by Gauteur 1997: 7), thereby drawing attention to its combination of pseudo-documentary realism and the dynamic shooting style of American action movies. What distinguishes Clouzot is the seriousness with which he takes his characters and the suffering they endure; as a consequence

in Henri-Georges Clouzot