Saturday, July 21, 2007

leacock's reading - 'a search for the feeling of being there'

I gotta say, the tone and articulacy with which Richard Leacock recounts his experiences in filmmaking is quite inspiring. Maybe that's something for me to strive towards in this blog - getting just the right amount of description, infused with an insatiable zest and exuberance for a medium as addictive as the air we breathe.

After doing my readings this week, which have centered mostly on how to capture the essence of documentary - and how to define it - I feel like I am in a position to tackle it in a creative sense. Rabiger's reading, entitled 'The Director's role' makes a very resonating quote: "There are no limits to documentary's possibilities, but it always reflects a profound fascination with, and respect for, actuality". From thereon you can take the debate as to what constitutes 'actuality' in any direction you like, but the assumtpion remains the same. Documentary aims to uncover something tangible, something real, and the camera acts as the all-seeing visual apparatus at a level that our own eyes are incapable of reaching.

As a genre, I think documentary succeeds because it connects, most importantly, with our deeply-rooted desires for knowledge. Unlike drama, which plays upon our emotions, it offers us a sense of assurance and even privilege. This, I think, can be attributed to the switch in point of view, i.e. to an more observational mode of filming. Although the drama and doco are becoming increasingly convergent, I think it's important to remember exactly why each has its respective place - both in culture and in the industry.

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