20 terms

Film 2


Terms in this set (...)

Poetic Mode of Doc
Poetic (tend to be very poetic with no narration and may consist of images set to music with rhythmic editing, philosophical themes underlying it)
Expository Mode of Doc
Type of filmmaking closely associated with Grierson, strong voice over narration explaining the images, telling us what we're seeing and what the film is arguing

More direct intervention into the real world, offers insight, commentary

Direct Address- voice over, intertitles, narrator etc. "Voice of God"
"Evidentiary Editing" - Editing in service of the argument

Tends to be rhetorical, aims to persuade, inform
Observational Mode of Doc
Associated with post WWII period, no narration, filmmaker mostly sits back and watches the world unfold with little interaction between the filmmaker and the subjects in the film, minimal influence and bias on the world from the director

Reaction to expository: issue of objectivity

"Fly on the wall" approach, Camera simply observes, minimal filmmaker interference

Minimal style, little extra music or voice over, available light (if possible)

Lightweight technology, 50's and 60's, "direct cinema"
Participatory Mode of Doc
Cinema Verite quality associated with it, refers to the filmmakers role with the subject matter, filmmaker will get involved with subjects, talking to them and asking questions and actively participating in constructing the reality the film is creating

Reaction to observational mode- engages subjects rather than merely observe

"Fly in the Soup"

"Truth of an Encounter" instead of an "absolute truth"
"Cinema Verite"
Chronicle of a Summer is a definitive version of this style
Reflexive Mode of Doc
Documentaries that are aware of themselves as documentary films, constantly reminding the audiences that what they're watching is constructed, an edited version of reality, idea is it is the most honest type of filmmaking, you may even see the filmmaker editing the film etc)

a film that is aware of itself as a construction

The most honest form of filming

Processes of filmmaking are revealed in film itself - seen as "more honest"

Films "aware" of themselves as documentaries, look at process of documentary filmmaking itself

Conventions of documentary called into question

Reveals how artificial film can be

Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929) (also part of the poetic mode)

One of the least common amongst documentaries (more likely for films to have moments of reflexivity)
Performative Mode of Doc
Similar to some of the other formats, foregrounds personal subjective interpretations of the world, doesn't claim to know real historical truths and that the only information that can be shared is personal and very subjective, the filmmaker themselves becomes the subject of the documentary in a sense, (Michael Moore films can be a good example)

Idea that knowledge is best revealed through personal, subjective experiences

Shuns objectivity, embraces personal, subjective stance

Personal experiences of the filmmaker relate to wider social issues, filmmakers "perform" often onscreen
Genre Reflection
Assumption that genres resonate particular historical moments, reflecting concerns, anxieties, and the interests of society at that time.
Film Noir
Strong visual style with low key lighting associated with European directors.
Domestic Melodrama
Focuses on struggles of a female protagonist and 'women's issues' with a domestic setting with strong interpersonal conflict.
An original model or type after which similar things are patterned.... Well known personality types.
Paradox of Genre
The balance of convention and innovation where genre films need to be both familiar but also new at the same time, respecting its traditional conventions but also challenging them.
Classical Stage
Second Stage

Follows the primitive stage (operating at full capacity)

When a genre model is "perfected" and filmmakers begin duplicating it

Conventions of it are fully developed and established

Audiences are familiar with it and have expectations for its narrative
styles and structure

Example: Halloween (1978)
Primitive Stage
First stage:
Initial period of genre emergence
The early, experimental stage of a genre
It's Conventions are not yet established
Audiences are not familiar with it, therefore they are unsure of what to expect
Example is Psycho (1969) which was atypical for Hitchcock's style
Revisionist Stage
Third Stage
Filmmakers began toying with the elements of genre for new styles

Typically follows a period of genre saturation (if a genre is successful enough then studios will flood the market with that genre of film)

Filmmakers with deliberately violate the conventions of the genre in order to create something new

Expectations are subverted, conventions are deliberately violated

The Core themes of the genre are questioned and confronted

Often politically driven to question certain themes and ideas

The western was a popular American genre, but was very racist... In 1970's films were made that revisit those problematic themes and
drawing audience attention to it
Example: Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)
Parodic Stage
Fourth Stage
Parody- all there is left to do is make fun of a genre that has been around long enough

Often the "last" stage in a cycle (not necessarily last because it could be reborn or twisted into something else, but typically is "last")

Conventions are so well known that they become cliche- intent becomes to spoof those cliches

Dependent upon an audience's familiarity with the genre and its conventions

In order for the parody to function and for the jokes to be understood, people need to be familiar with the conventions that are being mocked
Scary Movie (2000)
Semantic Elements
Metaphor of language
Language/building blocks of a genre
Characters, shots, iconography, setting, props, music/sound
Haunted houses, crucifixes, chainsaws, blood for horror films
You would be able to guess a movie genre by its soundtrack or score, which is central component to semantic films (you would know by listening to Halloween that it isn't a comedy)
Sound and music can constitute a crucial part of a genre's semantic system
Semantic elements of Horror in Halloween
Michaels mask
The jackolantern
Syntactic Elements
Structure/organization/arrangement of those Elements
Themes, situations, narrative patterns, ideologies
Ex: Good vs evil, "the monster in all of us", terror of the unknown
Social Realism
Films in the "realist" tradition that pay particular attention to socio-economic conditions of everyday life, particularly among the poor or working classes. Thought not of as a genre but aesthetic tradition.
British "Kitchen Sink" Realism
Cinema that depicts the grubby everyday lives of working class people which is a Prominent filmmaking tradition in the United Kingdom.
The Persistence of Realism
On location shooting out in the real world and not in a controlled studio (crucial component of Fish Tank). Uses natural/available lighting, naturalistic performances, non-professional actors, improvised dialogue, low-key acting styles that aren't over the top with de-emphasized editing, longer takes, deep focus.