Expository DocumentaryExpository documentary is a mode of documentary which focuss on social problems within the world. It emphasises rhetorical content.
It usually uses a voiceover (can be god like) which is used to drive the narrative. This is a much more spoken in relation to poetic who leaves the audience to gather the information via visual interpretation. Nichols described the editing in expository documentaries as evidentiary editing, a practice in which expositional images ...illustrate, illuminate, evoke, or act in counterpoint to what is said[we] take our cue from the commentary and understand the images as evidence or demonstration (Nichols 2001)
Example of Expositoryhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnjx6KETmi4 The inconvenient truth.
Unlike the content of poetic documentary, or the rhetoricalness of expositional documentary, observational documentaries tend to simply observe, allowing viewers to reach there own conclusions. The camera is unobtrusive. Allowing the events to occur naturally.Pure observational documentarians proceeded under some bylaws: no music, no interviews, no scene arrangement of any kind, and no narration. The fly-on-the-wall perspective is championed, while editing processes utilize long takes and few cuts.
Example of Observationalhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNNSJcGnRNw- Big brother
Poetic DocumentaryPoetic documentaries typically show excessive amounts of creative camera work and experimental editing (montages) in order to connect or translate a mood or emotion onto the audience. Poetic Documentaries often have a style of editing that offers discontinuity in graphic qualities, violations of the 180 degree rule, and the creation of impossible spatial matches.This is Sergei Eisensteins theory of montage. He states that "A Dialectic Approach to Film Form" when he noted that montage is "the nerve of cinema", and that "to determine the nature of montage is to solve the specific problem of cinema". Soviet montage theory shows an approach to understanding and creating cinema that relies heavily upon editing (montage is French for "putting together").An example of this that is commonly used in filmic documentaries such as Robert Flahertys Nanook of the North, is juxapostional editing. This style of editing is the process of showing one thing and another which are unrelated and through combining the two or making a sequence, creates a new meaning.
Expository DocumentaryDocumentary forefather John Grierson offers an explanation for the move away from poetic documentary, claiming filmmakers, got caught up in social propagandaWe got on to the social problems of the world, and we ourselves deviated from the poetic line. (Sussex 1972) The expositional mode diverges sharply from the poetic mode in terms of visual practice and story-telling devices, by virtue of its emphasis on rhetorical content, and its goals of information dissemination or persuasion.Narration is a distinct innovation of the expositional mode of documentary. Initially manifesting as an omnipresent, omniscient, and objective voice intoned over footage, narration holds the weight of explaining and arguing a films rhetorical content. Where documentary in the poetic mode thrived on a filmmakers aesthetic and subjective visual interpretation of a subject, expositional mode collects footage that functions to strengthen the spoken narrative. This shift in visual tactics gives rise to what Nichols refers to as evidentiary editing, a practice in which expositional images ...illustrate, illuminate, evoke, or act in counterpoint to what is said[we] take our cue from the commentary and understand the images as evidence or demonstration (Nichols 2001) The engagement of rhetoric with supporting visual information founded in the expositional mode continues today and, indeed, makes up the bulk of documentary product. Film features, news stories, and various television programs lean heavily on its utility as a device for transferring information.
Poetic DocumentaryContinuity editing is not used, which means that a sense of specific location is lost. Emphasis of visual association, tone or rhythm - Images are juxtaposed to create meaning Kuloshov effect.Descriptive passages are often used.Actors often dont become full characters.Demonstrates different possibilities in the transfer of knowledge.However, there is a lack of specificity in poetic documentaries.Examples of Poetic documentary makers : Ivens, Bunuel and Dali, Fischinger, Menken, Flaherty. Example: Man of Aran (Flaherty, 1934)
Robert FlahertyJoris IvensMan of Aran (Flaherty, 1934)
Interactive / Participatory DocumentaryHow it came to be: When more mobile equipment was available, filmmakers could make their perspective more evident they become part of the events recorded.This mode engages with individuals more directly whilst not using exposition interview styles.Archive footage is often used to avoid re-enactments / staging and voice of God commentaries. However, it relies a lot on history and can be too intrusive in it methods. Examples of directors: Rouch, de Antonio, Connie Field, Michael Moore, Broomfield.Example: Kurt and Courtney (Broomfield, 1988)
Michael MooreConnie FieldKurt and Courtney (Broomfield, 1988)
Reflective Documentary Makers of Reflective documentaries consider the quality of the documentary, they consider its process and its implications on their audiences.
For example In Dziga Vertovs Man with a Movie Camera (1929,)
He has footage of his brother and wife shooting footage and editing, respectively. The goal of shooting these images was, to increase the audiences understanding of the process of how film is constructed. Another example is Ruby Mitchells ...No Lies (1974,) which was different to Dzigas man with a movie camera, as it questioned the observational mode, Rubys no lies commented on observational techniques and their capacity for capturing authentic truths. In this way, the reflexive mode of documentary often functions as its own regulatory board, policing ethical and technical boundaries within Documentary film itself.
Reflective Mode(Vertov, Godmilow, Raul Ruiz) Reflective mode makes the convention representation more obvious and apparent, it also challenges the impression of reality which other three modes normally conveyed unproblematically. Reflective mode is the most self-aware mode- its reflexivity helps audience acknowledge how other modes claim to construct "truth" through documentary practice. It uses many of devices of other modes but sets them on edge so viewer attends to device as well as the effect.
Performance Mode(Resnais, Julien, Riggs) 1.Performance mode is like a Reflexive Documentary, it also raises questions about knowledge
2. Performance mode emphasizes personal experience (in tradition of poetry, literature)
3. Performance mode tries to show the audience how understanding such personal knowledge can help us understand more general processes of society
4. performance mode mixes elements of different documentary modes to achieve a link between subjective knowledge/understanding of the world, and more general understandings, i.e. historical ones.