Dave Saunders’ spirited introduction to documentary covers its history, cultural context and development, and the approaches, controversies and functions pertaining to non-fiction filmmaking. Saunders examines the many methods by which documentary conveys meaning, whilst exploring its differing societal purposes. From early, one-reel ‘actualities’ to the box-office successes of recent years, artistic complexities have been inherent to non-fiction cinema, and this Guidebook aims to make such issues clearer.
After a historical consideration of international documentary production, the author examines the impact of recent technological developments on the production, distribution and viewing of non-fiction. In addition, he explores the increasingly hazy distinctions between factual and dramatic formats, discussing ‘reality television’, the ‘docu-drama’, and less orthodox approaches including animated and fantastical representations of reality.
Documentary encompasses a broad range of academic discourse around non-fiction filmmaking, introducing readers to the key filmmakers, major scholars, central debates and critical ideas relating to the form. This wide-ranging guidebook features global releases from the 1920s through to 2009, and includes films such as:
• Nanook of the North (1922)
• The Man with the Movie Camera (1929)
• Night Mail (1936)
• Night and Fog (1955)
• Primary (1960)
• Roger and Me (1989)
• Tarnation (2003)
• My Winnipeg (2006)
• Sicko (2007)
• Waltz With Bashir (2008)
• Say My Name (2009)
• Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2009)