The History and Evolution of Documentary

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  • The History and Evolution of Documentary
    • Early Documentary
      • 'Arrival of a Train at Ciotat Station' - Luminere Brothers (1895)
      • Robert J. Flaherty regarded as the first documentarist (according to John Grierson)
        • Spent great deal of time with subjects, hoping to reflect a "true" version of their lives.
          • Often criticized for romanticizing subject matter.
    • The Direct Cinema Movement
      • Founded by Robert Drew in the USA
        • He and his team developed lightweight cameras and sound equipment which could operate independently of one another.
          • Followed by a development of machines which could resynchronize sound with images.
      • Members believed Grierson 'romanticizing' documentary was dangerous, and ultimately untruthful.
      • Aim was to make films which provided 'reporting without summary or opinion' and consequently without bias.
      • Drew and Leacock made films which captured events as they unfolded, introducing the 'long take'.
      • "It could be... theatre without actors, plays without playwrights, reporting without summary or opinion"
      • Interchangeable with 'Cinema Verite'.


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