Thursday, 9 July 2009

Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary

I recently found out, via another blog, about a new website set up by the National Film Board of Canada. It's called 'Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary' and it's a treasure trove of wonderful short clips of directors talking about various aspects of documentary film making . There's so many clips that I've only really scratched the surface so far but personal favourites include; Eduardo Coutinho, Interviewing: telling it for the first time, where he discusses why he doesn't ever like to meet interviewees prior to the interview; Kevin Macdonald, Jennings, Morris and Maysles, talking about the impact of these three directors on him; Claire Simon, The French Nouvelle Vague, where she talks about, amongst other things, the work of Agn├Ęs Varda, a French documentary film maker whom I had never heard of before but who I am now really looking forward to finding out more about; and Werner Herzog, I memorize the entire footage, where he talks about, surprisingly enough, how he memorises his entire film for as long as necessary then forgets it when the film is finished.

I really like the way the website is set out as well. it's really easy to use, visually appealing and the search options work really well. You can search by name of film maker, by topic, and by just browsing over the photographs of each film maker that make up the home page.

2 comments:

  1. It is certainly worth pondering how many great directors got their start making documentaries and how that introductory training influenced the narrative films they made later.

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  2. It is certainly worth pondering how many great directors started out making documentaries at first. It's interesting to see how that introductory training influenced the narrative films they made in their later career.

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