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Issues in Contemporary Documentary. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 5227117
  • Book
  • July 2009
  • 244 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Documentary is fast changing: with the digital revolution and the enormous increase in Internet usage, the range of information and outlets for distribution continues to become more diverse. In this context, are the traditional themes and frequently irreconcilable critical positions of study still valid – or are they changing, and if so, how? In short, what are the issues for documentary studies now?

The starting point of Issues in Contemporary Documentary is that although documentary history cannot be ignored, the genre needs to be understood as complex, multi-faceted, and influenced by a range of different contexts. Jane Chapman brings to life the challenges of contemporary documentary in an accessible way by balancing theoretical discussion with use of cutting edge material from Europe and North America and the developing world.

Whilst the need for critical appraisal of documentary is greater than ever before, Chapman believes that future discourses are likely to be shared between academics and specialist online communities as viewers become makers, and both categories may also become activists. Maintaining all parties can benefit from an awareness of continuity and change, she predicts that activist documentary will increasingly become a category to follow in the future.

Each chapter contains recent international case studies, and the content evolves thematically with definitions, representation, objectivity, subjectivity, censorship, authorial voice, reflexivity, and ethics as headings. This free standing, innovative study can also be used in conjunction with Documentary in Practice (Polity 2007) by the same author. The two books provide an essential 2 volume introduction for all students and scholars of film and media, plus those practitioners seeking insight into their craft.
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1. Definitions - Issues and Influences.
2. Representation - Problems, Purpose
3. Objectivity/Subjectivity - Pursuing truth?
4. Censorship - whose world is it?
5. Authorial Voice - means of expression
6. Reflexivity - techniques and reflection
7. Audience - a world view or viewing the world?
8. Ethics - shifting boundaries
Conclusions: continuities and change
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Jane L. Chapman University of Lincoln.
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