the panopticon

documentaries, motherfucker!

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

and we begin

with, always, the impulse -- to observe, follow, capture, interpret, react.

so this is gonna be a blog about documentaries: the people who make them, watch them, are in them.

since i've started studying at nyu's journalism school, where i'm learning about long-form documentary, it seems that the documentary as a genre of film, has experienced a meteoric rise in pop cultural cache. no prizes for guessing who, but recent directors have taken docs to a new level in the american moviegoing consciousness, with the result that now when one says "i wanna make documentaries," fewer people say "oh, like the ones on pbs about giraffes?" and more ask about, well, moore.

as the genre surfaces, so do questions about non-fiction film, its imprecise relations to broadcast journalism and personal journalling. about the power of the visual, of the edit, and the perceived strength of truth.

let's start small and current: in upcoming posts and links, soon to be put up: a list of links to the home sites of recent documentaries like fahrenheit 911 and control room, a list of links to publications and reviewers, and, of course, the daily entries: ramblings and links to more ramblings about individual documentaries and about the current state of non-fiction film.