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Docufictions: Essays on the Intersection of Documentary and Fictional Filmmaking

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Overview

Through most of the 20th century, the distinction between the fictional narrative film and the documentary was vigorously maintained. The documentary tradition developed side by side with, but in the shadow of, the more commercially successful feature film. In the latter part of the century, however, the two forms merged on occasion, and mockumentaries (fictional works in a documentary format) and docudramas (reality-based works in a fictional format) became part of the film and television landscape.The 18 essays here examine the relationships between narrative fiction films and documentary filmmaking, focusing on how each influenced the other and how the two were merged in such diverse films and shows as Citizen Kane, M*A*S*H, This Is Spinal Tap, and Destination Moon. Topics include the docudrama in early cinema, the industrial film as faux documentary, the fear evoked in 1950s science fiction films, the selling of "reality" in mockumentaries, and reality television and documentary forms. The essays provide a foundation for significant rethinking of film history and criticism, offering the first significant discussion of two emerging and increasingly important genres.Editor Gary D. Rhodes, a documentary filmmaker, is a professor at the Queen's University, Belfast. He is also the author of Horror at the Drive-In (2003), White Zombie (2001) and Lugosi (1997). John Parris Springer is a professor of English & Film Studies at the University of Central Oklahoma. He is the author of Hollywood Fictions: The Dream Factory in American Popular Literature (2000).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786421848
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/8/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,426,473
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Editor Gary D. Rhodes, a documentary filmmaker, is a professor at the Queen's University, Belfast. He is also the author of Horror at the Drive-In (2003), White Zombie (2001) and Lugosi (1997). John Parris Springer is a professor of English & Film Studies at the University of Central Oklahoma. He is the author of Hollywood Fictions: The Dream Factory in American Popular Literature (2000).

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Table of Contents

1 Docudrama and mock-documentary : defining terms, proposing canons 11
2 The newspaper meets the dime novel : docudrama in early cinema 27
3 On the edges of fiction : silent actualites, city symphonies and early SF movies 43
4 This reality which is not one : Flaherty, Bunuel and the irrealism of documentary cinema 64
5 Reconstructing reality : the industrial film as faux documentary 88
6 "Documenting" communist subversion : the case of I was a communist for the F.B.I. (1951) 102
7 Teaching fear in 1950s science fiction films 124
8 Mondo Barnum 144
9 In search of questions, or, a new age film odyssey 154
10 Artifice and artificiality in mockumentaries 164
11 "It ain't the movies! It's real life!" : cinematic alchemy in Woody Allen's "Woody Allen" D(M)oc(k)umentary oeuvre 179
12 "That's really the title?" : deconstructing deconstruction in The positively true adventures of the alleged Texas cheerleader-murdering mom (1993) and Real life (1978) 191
13 Man bites dog : deconstructing the documentary look 205
14 Stanley Kwan's Centre stage (1992) : postmodern reflections of the mirror within the mirror 216
15 Fool's gold : New Zealand's Forgotten silver, myth and national identity 230
16 Before Big brother, there was Blair witch : the selling of "reality" 237
17 Chasing the real : reality television and documentary forms 253
18 The future of documentary? : "conditional tense" documentary and the historical record 270
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