Definitions of Documentary

The word “documentary” defies easy definition. Here are some versions from various reference guides and textbooks: “Documentary concerns itself with representing the observable world, and to this end works with what [John] Grierson called the raw material of reality. The documentarian draws on past and present actuality — the world of social and historical experience… Read More Definitions of Documentary

The Four Fundamental Tendencies of Documentary

In “Toward a Poetics of Documentary,” Michael Renov outlines four tendencies of documentary. He places these tendencies within theories of poetics in order to show that they are products of historical, cultural, and technological contexts. As a result, these tendencies serve as a way to see how to widen the gap between the image and… Read More The Four Fundamental Tendencies of Documentary

Who Defines a Documentary?

Documentary theorist Bill Nichols outlines four groups that define a documentary:  “An institutional framework” “A community of practitioners” “A corpus of texts” “A constituency of viewers” An Institutional Framework Institutional frameworks refer to anyone involved in the distribution and support of documentary. They can be divided into two sub-groups. 1. The first group includes those… Read More Who Defines a Documentary?