New Documentary (2nd Edition) by Stella Bruzzi

By Stella Bruzzi

During this new version of Stella Bruzzi's winning creation to modern non-fiction movie , the writer addresses key concerns inside documentary film-making, resembling functionality, gender, authorship and narrative, discussing the paintings of top film-makers, together with Michael Moore, Nick Broomfield and Errol Morris.

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Extra info for New Documentary (2nd Edition)

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The Zapruder footage has, for example, led Heidi Wasson to speculate wildly that the footage ‘becomes the threshold to an imaginary and real space where seemingly contradictory rituals are re-enacted’ (Wasson 1995: 10). Exemplifying this duality, the Zapruder footage’s continuous paradox is that it promises to reveal what will always remain beyond it: the motivation and the cause of the actions it depicts. This has, in turn, led consistently to two impulses, the first being to focus obsessively on the source material itself, to analyse, re-analyse, enhance, digitally re-master Zapruder’s original in the vain hope that these images will finally reveal the truth of who killed Kennedy, the second being to use the same sequence of images as the basis for an interpretation of the assassination that invariably requires and incorporates additional, substantiating material, usually drawing from an ever-dwindling number of eyewitnesses and an ever-increasing pool of conspiracy theorists.

Near the beginning, one such intertitle draws attention to the vast expanses of land owned and overseen by a wealthy few, followed by a piece of film illustrating this claim that 28 The event: archive and newsreel concludes with an exterior shot of what we subsequently learn is the sumptuous residence of the governor of Kaluga. Following the exterior shot, there is an intertitle ‘And next to them – this’, followed by images of tiny peasant mud huts. The implications of social injustice are quite obvious, but, like Eisenstein, what Shub then does, once the initial juxtaposition has been established, is to intercut a variety of images that further illustrate this social difference without feeling the need to explicate them.

A woman asks how far from The event: archive and newsreel 41 the centre of the blast would one have to be to survive, to which the reply given is 12 miles. This is juxtaposed with another contemporary ‘expert’ (presumably not a government stooge) describing how it would be futile (a word he repeats) to think of survival even in a bomb shelter within a 2,000 square mile radius of the blast, which in turn is juxtaposed with the ‘nuclearosis’ cartoon making assurances about the effectiveness of small shelters within the home.

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