Putting a Final Paper Together (from a Final Paper I never submitted for credit in a course I received an F in for not turning in anything at all, because I was not finished, but took class notes, see within). "Paralegal 33, Drafts, documentary films"
Circa 2006-2008: My coursework notes used to write this draft
Note: This is not a finished essay just a draft of ideas being put together to write the paper, this was not the paper submitted, and should have been finished and submitted for my Documentary Film course at CU for credit, instead of not turning in a final paper and receiving an F (my only F) in the course, back in 2006.
Towards the end, is when Seidman finally gets to the guts of his potential argument. Too many unnecessary details and personal anecdotes somehow weakens the piece more than offers support for his main point. Seidman’s “confession about a confession” was ultimately an attempt to illustrate his claim that “there is nothing but masks on top of masks and frames within frames.” To me, this represents the power of confessions and how one’s confession can be interpreted by others.
No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, is one example of a documentary film that attempts to capture the live of an individual from his or her own perspective. The filmmaker’s job is illustrate and represent that individuals reality through an artistic display. However ultimately the messages transpired to the audience are left to the interpretations of the viewer. An individuals reality is a summation of their experiences and how it affects their perspective and distinguishes between how they see the world versus how someone else would see it.
Documentary film, encompasses the heart of the Independent Filmmakers purpose and the journey they take, while deviating from norm; that includes the popular beliefs, opinions, and judgments held by those in position of power to distribute their works of art, in addition to the general public whose expressed scrutiny is swayed by those considered most knowledgeable and independent of the general public (i.e. executive producers, major distributors, deep pocketed individuals, etc.) The biggest risk they take is attempting to alter public perception, by shedding a new light upon topic and issues that both affect the audience they target, and provide sufficient artistic evidence/displays to which the general public can relate. The most innovative and recognized for this craft, are those able to create works that the public can both relate to and at the same time influence the change in the public’s general understanding of the truth of the matter. In this way, Independent Film makers and documentary film makers success is determined by their ability to understand multiple points of view in order to convey the perspective they put out there to broaden the public general understanding and scope of what may be considered as truth.
Within the film industry at large, it would be unlikely to determine that the film industry is not in any way shape or form influenced by government an politics. In fact, the laws to which individuals within the industry abide by, were written and enforced by the government. The degree to which that influence is in directly connected to major film producers, executives, and distributors within the film making industry has yet to be determined. However one article by Jeff Fleischer, sheds some light on how the government has specifically influenced the direction that movies take, when depicting U.S. government involvement in war.
“During his years as a journalist for Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, Robb heard about a quid-pro-quo agreement between the Pentagon and Hollywood studios, and decided to investigate. He combed through thousands of Pentagon documents, and interviewed dozens of screenwriters, producers and military officials. The result is his new book, "Operation Hollywood."
Robb talked with MotherJones.com about deal-making that defines the relationship between Hollywood and the Pentagon.
A documentary on Al Gore’s campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide
Al Gore narrating, opening statement describing a river what we see and what will happen to it in the future, what we don’t see is what’s being filmed while he’s giving a presentation to a live audience
Made this film after the last election, in which he lost to Bush
He says that there are good people in politics that understand the morale imperative to make these changes
Narration, showing images of the earth taken from the Apollo mission
Only image we have of our earth
Then shows another image from the Galileo
Tells a little anecdote from his childhood, recalling a memory from his elementary school geography class and a comment made by his teacher
Recites a quote by Mark Twain:
“What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know, It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so”
Al Gore educating his audience, gives a scientific explanation of how global warming occurs and the effects it has on our environment--Then shows a cartoon, using characters to depict the factors causing global warming
Tells us what inspired him to learn more about this---a professor of his who was the first to measure the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere—after the first few years of data he saw the devastating consequences that had yet to come—talks about the various scientific experiments used for measuring CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere (using hotair balloons and sending them into the atmosphere)---and he was one of the students that got to see the results of his teachers first experiments
He drew the connections btw the larger changes of our civilization and whats happening now and predictions of what will happen in the future.
Gives some examples of how it has affected our environment and shows images of ice glaciers falling.
When there is more carbnon dioxide the temp gets warmer b/c it traps the heat inside
Shows graph of the fluctuations in temperature/ that shows the correlation btw. levels of COs in the atmosphere and the changes in temperature that occur simultaneously
Describes the environmental devastation as a violation of our morale and describes it as unethical
Describes his effort to inform the public of environmental issues as a calling, something he feels that he needs to do, as if it is his purpose in life to do something about it
talks about pipelines in alaska
we were given warning. Question of how we react to warnings given to us by expert scientists
“The era of procrastination, of Half-Measures, of Soothing and Baffling Expedients, of delays, is coming to its close; In its place we are entering a period of consequences.” –Sir Winston Churchhill nov. 12, 1936
Then shows clips from the election, and the poll results shown/ broadcasted on the news.
In thinking critically about society and the individuals which comprise unique groups within, documentary film gives unique insight into the lives of others and their perspective of the world in which we live. Individually we are limited to that which we are familiar with and that which we have experienced ourselves first hand. Only through interaction with others do we gain further insight and are better able to understand the way in which others interpret their experiences and how they see society. Documentary film is unique in that it gives a filmmaker the opportunity to create an artistic collage of others experiences, which they can use to illustrate and convey a particular point of view. As sociologists, our job is to think critically of the filmmakers purpose of creating the film, as well as think critically of how well the film maker has conveyed his/her viewpoint.
The first documentary we viewed in class, illustrated one filmmakers interpretation of sound and illustrated an alternative view of sound and perception from the viewpoint of those hearing impaired. Who the film maker chose to document, provided a prime example of someone who defeated the odds, and deviated from societal perception of what constitutes a disability and the extent to which society influences our view of ourselves. By documenting the technique and compositions of a renown percussionist, we are able to see how one woman overcame a hearing impairment, yet still pursued her passion to make music. Rather than allow her disability to impair her, she found other non-traditional means of continuing to learn to play and create music, a talent which she can share and teach others under similar circumstances. The message the filmmaker is sending to the viewer is that by succumbing to pressures and norms or society we may begin to doubt that which we are capable of pursuing, and that our potential to inspire others lies in our ability to utilize all of our senses. Those who inspire others, and stand out from the rest, are those who go against the grain of societal norms. Not only does society shape our perceptions and influence our growth, but individuals are responsible as well for shaping the world in which we live. Those who deviate from the norm help to break the boundaries of society set by those before us, to create a sense of order and continuity. The general viewpoints held by society, and the way in which societies are structured are meant to help simplify our interactions with one another, and help to guide us. By conforming, we avoid conflict, by blending in, however at the same time we reinforce society’s perception of how we as a group are supposed to be. Blending in and conforming is only a temporary strategy we can use to simplify our lives. However the further away we get from our own self perceptions, the more we rely on society to influence us and shape our identities. As a result, individuals begin to identify themselves and realize their own potential to build a new paths rather than go along with what has already been done.