Are non fiction movies are documentaries, this is the question of this documentary about documentaries.
How filming with a camera is transforming the reality ? Transforming during the shooting and transforming through the editing process see the Kuleshov effect.
And ultimately how time is transforming the movie.
This is some of the questions arize through this movie shown on the BFI website.
Much has been made of the documentary renaissance over the past few years but artful nonfiction has, of course, been a crucial part of movie culture since Auguste and Louis Lumière first recorded the reality of their surroundings. Cinema has been about observation since its birth. Documentary has been about performance since Grierson’s first documentarian, Robert Flaherty, directed Nanook to chuck his spear.
The form is one of inherent contradictions, where a dialectical tension between structure and chaos creates the space to observe the human creature and to conjure emotions ranging from empathy to outrage. Occasionally, the documentary form can create a sense of the immediate present tense and it can grab you and shake you.
As evidenced by the stunning diversity of the Sight & Sound Greatest Documentaries of All Time polls, the nonfiction form is as vital as any art we’ve collectively concocted. Filmmakers today are gifted with the technological and aesthetic freedom to pursue the boundaries of reality cinema, but it’s crucial to remember that anything we do today is merely building on the magic created before us.
This video essay is an attempt to collect a few of the sublime, upsetting, euphoric and poetic moments from a few of the greatest (and sometimes lesser known but still greatest) nonfiction films ever made. It’s a sketch of ideas, instants and impressions created by some of our most adventurous filmmakers. I love documentary. To the makers and admirers of the form, here is a simple love song.