92 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2021
    1. It also makes sense that these filmmakerswould bristle at claims that a filmmakerʼs job is to give"voice to the voiceless,"

      The problematic phrase "Voice to the Voiceless" - what does that actually mean?

    2. These collectives were traininggrounds for politically progressive filmmakers railingcinematically against a cultural hegemony and money-minded Hollywood; and they laid the ideological foundationand professional pipeline for leadership within today'sdocumentary film spaces.

      The preface to modern day doc film spaces

    3. ith cause; it was cinema of mystification or anti-historicism. It was surplus-value cinema.

      Showing the result but not the oppression that causes it.

    4. Suddenly, thedispossessed were the filmmakers, protagonists and theaudience.

      decolonizing film

    5. encouraged to continue mining other communities forprovocative material.

      Colonial Filmmaking; back to the inherently colonial nature of much of documentary film.


    1. Several soldiers I interviewedtold me that if a commander won't tolerate the mistreatmentof women, it will not happen, and studies back this up.

      This is a potent argument for what should be obvious, that it is men's responsibility to not to be violent

    2. morefemale casualties and deaths than in the Korean, Vietnamand first Gulf Wars combined

      Not relevant. There weren't many women in the army.


  2. Feb 2021
  3. mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com
    1. but on the interaction and communication between the different instruments, the whole ensemble. He spoke of his own musicianship with an astounding humility, as is revealed during one scene in the film, when he is talking to a grown-up Denardo about his playing and says: ‘I’ll tell you the truth, I think you do it much better than I do.’

      The collaborative nature of Ornette reflects Clarke's method of filmmaking.

    2. Then there wouldn’t be any confusion about what’s supposed to happen, and people wouldn’t say they came to hear the music’

      Here's the root of his issues with sexual relations relative to music.

    3. It reveals one of Clarke’s ongoing concerns in her filmmaking practice: the construction and performance of masculinity, and specifically, black masculinity, as determined by a white supremacist society.

      I feel that this does a disservice to black folks. However oppressed, they do have agency over their sexuality and Ornette chooses to indulge. His decision to indulge in sex is utterly human. How is white supremacy involved, except on a highly theoretical level?

    4. she bought cameras, monitors and tape decks with which she filled her penthouse apartment at New York’s Chelsea Hotel. T

      Oh, so she was wildly rich and privileged.

      That really takes away from her. She isn't a big name yet, there's no reason she should be able to buy al this stuff and live in a penthouse.

    5. specific (white) fetishising and objectifying gaze.

      How on earth does that have anything to do with white fetishizing. Quite the reach, to me.

    6. Indeed, her aim was to make them all ‘jazzy’ given that the State Department had instructed her that the one subject matter that she could not portray was precisely jazz

      Confused. I thought they wanted to implement Jazz to stave off accusations of racism.

    7. She said: ‘[h]aving laid the spine down, which was his music, I edited to the music. That’s where the rhythms and energy came from. The film looks like how Ornette sounds and has the same basic thinking’

      Editing around music. Too funny. I used to think that was all you were supposed to do.

    8. nd rather than aim for naturalism in these sequences, Clarke emphasizes their artificiality, with awkward acting on the part of the child actors and the constant acknowledgement of the presence of the camera, as subjects on screen are continuously breaking the fourth wall.

      The author misses the point. Having them break the fourth wall/acknowledge the camera lends it more of a documentary feel; children have a very hard time not looking directly at the camera.

    9. was submitted in 1968

      The huge amount of time between the first proposal and the publishing - almost twenty years, is a beautiful lesson in persistence.

    10. She was actively avoiding the kind of biographical exercise which would focus on these — ‘I wasn’t trying to make a “documentary” of Ornette

      Clarke (filmmaker) puportedly was not trying to make a documentary of Ornette.

    11. praising him and claiming it as evidence of the reality and reach of the American Dream, that is, that, in the mayor’s own words: ‘success is possible for all who take advantage of the opportunities of our country’. This bombastic and misguided rhetoric

      IMPORTANT: you commented on this in the actualfilm

    1. The film took on a vitality and coherence it had had all along that the completely silent version eviscerated. The Alloy Orchestra’s music gives tempo to the day that struc-tures the film; it gives vitality to the machinery that awakens and begins to produce the goods that will benefit the people; it organizes an affective response to the film that makes the editing cohere in a way it did not do when the film was simply a visual cascade without any sound track at all.

      Demonstrates the enormous value of sound in film; read prior paragraph about the film without sound.

    2. The Sound of Music



    1. as well as from a critical distance (in the case of his views of wider political events, across the globe)

      Ah! Important. The author is not saying that all of Ai's work is made from a critical distance, the author is speaking specifically to his work abroad.

    2. tories told by citizens are as powerful as what is generally accepted as history.

      There is a sense in Ai Weiwie's work that he's handing the stage to the subjects. I wonder what this means when he says "stories told by citizens", scenes like the drunk man at the artist dinner.

    3. from

      "immersion from..." - why "from"?

    4. This critical distance is rooted in a process of immersion

      Interesting. I would think that would be exactly what counteracts Critical Distance. I need to look into what critical distance means a little more.

    5. only the “docu-ment,” where an image and reality are coupled and integrated, can do justice to the complexity, genesis, and destiny of the event, which by far exceeds the frame of the image

      For this, I pose the question: Is it possible to ever do justice brutality through art? Is it possible to communicate the full extent of war, of the Refugee Crisis, of genocide?

    6. Critical distance is crucial in Ai’s practice

      I find this an odd note. In my view, it is exactly the lack of critical distance, the complete lack of objectivity, that contributes to making Weiwei's projects special.


    1. They have never been victims andnever will be, despite their occasional show of tear wiping.

      This is a really intense statement, that the silent oppressed persons in totalitarian, violent regimes are in fact not victims.

      Reeks of victim blaming, which is strange given Awai's work.


    1. People think that gettingonline and signing a petition is enough. Wereally we have to stand in a group

      Armchair activism.

    2. hese considerations should level thefilmmaker to a peer in civic life and social jus-tice ally as opposed to a film director or individ-ual actor

      Fourth Cinema?

    3. social media’s privilegingof personal narrative reinforces a central cri-tique of neoliberalism: it separates the individ-ual from a collective or communitarianapproach to social justice

      Strongly, strongly disagree. The same could be said for the face of any movement. Did the fame of MLK "separate the individual from [the] collective? Does anyone have an argument for that?

    4. sociotechnical

      Has anyone ever come across the term sociotechnical before? I've made up terms for a handful of academic essays, is that what's happening here?


    1. deconstructing Brazilian gender roles through their performances

      An interesting concept I'd like to consider and interrogate. Does exacerbating and essentially parodying gender roles ACTUALLY work to dismantle those roles, or does it enforce them?

      No strong opinion yet. Come back to this.

    2. The intolerance fuels their ostentatious behavior.

      A vicious feedback loop between the violence of the oppressors and the anger of the trans individuals.

    3. The Brazilian meaning of ‘transgender’ has developed into an umbrella term to embrace a variety of individuals with different gender and sexual identities.

      Very, very interesting, strange and telling that transgender is a word to describe sexuality.

    4. While stereotypes are grounded in social power, it is important to recognize that they also fill a social function

      Implication of some positive functions? Perhaps visibility?

    5. trav-estis have a feminine gender identity and a good acceptance of their biological sex

      Yes, above annotation is at least half correct.

    6. either transsexuals or travestis.

      In this context, does transexual mean homosexual? are travestis folks who present as one gender but identify as another?

    1. One striking element is the nicknames they adopt, which are lifted from movies.

      So they keep the nicknames after the movie?

    2. Viewers are warned about the cruelty, but it's also stressed that the participants are proud of what they do

      This is WORSE dude.

    3. ust as he blurred the boundaries between filmmaker and subjects, heblurred fiction and documentary i

      "He called the result Ethnofiction"

      Ethnofiction definition: A cinema that not only uses real people with the conditions being explored, but lets them perform a fiction within a world and narrative grounded in reality. Further, the director is removed as the auteur, the actors granted significant creative power. See following highlight.

    4. Rouch called his method "shared anthropology", in an attempt to renounce the authority of the filmmaker,especially one from outside the culture.

      Radical dismemberment of the long-standardized hierarchy in cinema.

    5. Southern African-Americans that embarrassedforward-thinking urban strivers, who didn't want to be reminded of such things and didn't think it made a goodprogressive image for the white folks.

      Internalized racism, or practical gripe?

    6. Region 1 viewers

      Can't immediately find what this means.


  4. Jan 2021
    1. transgres-sive moments like this disrupt television’s narrative codes, splitting wide open the ‘Ken Burns effect’ of televisual history

      I want to know more about this "Ken Burns effect"

    2. using Truganini’s death to suggest the elimination of an entire race.

      This has been mentioned a few times - the extinction narrative.

      I've gathered that the issue is that these people very much exist. It seems insane that the common narrative would be that they don't.

    3. So today’s Aboriginal community hasn’t lost anything.

      Uh, what? the Aboriginal community hasn't lost anything because they see the country as part of themselves? The country that was STOLEN from them? What the fuck does this even mean?


    1. Possibly counter-intuitively, the abstraction of the visuals makes the viewer concentratemore on what is being said.

      Well that's wildly subjective.

    2. a 'marae approach' to film-making, one that 'hears all thevoices'.5

      4th Cinema?

    3. The manner in which thefilm records the wider stories of all these figures deepens the texture ofcommunal involvement.

      I really felt this in the film we watched.

    4. For example, Miru recounts how, in1991, he fired shots over some boats in order to scare them away and wassubsequently taken to court. The ways in which the law protects the com-mercial fisherman when Miru threatens them enacts an idea of protectionthat is not accorded to the Indigenous knowledge of the harbour or to theiwi who have traditionally used it.

      Well...yeah...firing a lethal weapon in the direction of humans as a deterrent should be taken to court. This is an instance of workers pitted against workers.

    5. community

      Was Fourth Cinema first conceptualized by Barclay? How does it differ from Third Cinema?

    6. the arrogance to call ahui, e

      Lookup what the hell a "hui" is.

    7. in his 1990book Our Own Image, a study of the politics of the Indigenous image in NewZealand, that Barclay first outlined his idea that a successful film operates as a hui(communal gathering), a 'gathering on film

      Interesting, as film is a communal medium

    8. to assume that from such a position Barclay is only interested inexacerbating communal tension.

      I question why such an assumption would even require addressing. In "seeing division and potential to create conflict," is he not identifying where division and potential conflict lie? Or is he actually identifying areas where there SHOULD be conflict, and creating it?


    1. essentializing "minority" texts d

      What does this mean? Come back to edit with answer.

    2. Although Clando has been called Teno's first fiction film, the writer/director refuses the label. "All of my films are documentaries," he says, since for him cinema always addresses contemporary concerns. H

      I find this statement ridiculous and pompous. It reminds me of Kahn's sense of objectivity or incorruptibility. He may not have meant it literally, but a documentary is a specific branch of narrative media. More artists than not address or deal with contemporary concerns in their work. That's not even what a documentary is; it isn't a film that deals with contemporary concerns.

      It reads like he believes he is so objective in his search to render the Truth as he sees it that all his films should be considered documentaries. No, they shouldn't, because they're not. Talented as he is, he is one of thousands of artists aiming to render their perception of Truth.

    3. biography of a major figure in Pan-African history is interwoven with the filmmaker's own autobiogra phy as well as a broad-based critique of the demeaning con descension of early visual anthropology

      Note: features of anti-documentary (highlight all going forward)

    1. and theory as well as practice is dealt w

      Again, the importance of Theory.

    2. tion, I've been scrupulous about never becom- ing a film collector myself. I've found it difficult, sometimes, to politely refuse when Basil has offered me the odd poster or artefact as a


    3. ptions. The loss of screen or sound quality is in effect the loss of information - the equivalent of removin

      "The loss of screen or sound quality is in effect the equivalent of removing vital pages from a book"

      This is a perfect explanation of why archivists need a firm code of ethics.

    4. Ethical behaviour- adherence to prescribed stand- ards of honesty, integrity and professional com- petenc

      Ethics as defined here are especially fluid, even entropic.

    5. lm is the synthesis of the arts, its archiving is likewise a synthesis of many disciplines -

      Film as synthesis of all art; first time I've seen this mentioned.

    6. available to be understood - and evaluated - by other

      So, a profession is only a profession if it is recognized and understood by other folks. That makes sense, sort of.

    7. - yes and n

      Yes, because it holds the essential qualities of a profession, no because visible structures and manifestations are missing.

    8. t! Can't we leave the theorizing until we've got leisure to worry about it? Does it really matter whether anyone wants to recognize it as a profession or

      More on the importance of theory!

    9. ers. There was no formal base of theory which served to define the profession, its principles and worldv

      Theory as a necessity for constructing our reality. How integral are theorists to societal development?

    10. agues have ex- pressed to me surprise, even

      Yeah, of course. Asking a person if their specialty and bread and butter is a profession is like a mom telling a teenager that music is not a career.

    11. But the fact is that it's a semantic accident. There's no ready-made word, universally under- stood, to describe institutions which preserve mov- ing images and sound recordings - or the people that work therein. Archive is simply one of the words appropriated, from the 1930s on, to do that job, maybe because of its popular meaning as a plac

      "simply one of the words appropriated"

      Isn't that how language works? Aren't almost all words appropriated? Seems to be shaky ground to stand on.


    1. These included the New Objectivity movement in Germany, the surreal- ist and abstract film experiments in France, as well as the Vertovian promotion of film as 'an explorer of living facts' in Soviet Russ

      Research this more. Interested in how the "Objectivity Movement" contained surrealist and abstract films; how is Objectivity defined for this movement?

      Possibly in the vein of Bazin's Fantastik and Falsism; surrealism and dreamscapes can be employed within realism if they are grounded in fantasy within the film itself.

    2. s united by the common aspiration that cinema could be enlisted to change the world in part due to its propensity for 'archiving' everyday


    3. ve. Third, we need to remember that Brunhes' audience at the College de France was open to the public and not limited to students or profess

      This function is in opposition to my previous note on the inherent corruption of restricted viewership. It does not revoke the critique, but it does soften it.

    4. on. They were reserved for viewing by a cultural and intellectual elite

      I would argue that media designed and destined for the elite is inherently corrupt; willful exclusion of the classes it documents made for voyeuristic consumption by the ruling class.

      Of course, it also serves the greater (and noble) purpose of recording history, but in terms of it's final destination...I believe it is notably problematic.

    5. , they record France's shifting identity under the forces of modernity as urbanisation and industrialisation competed with the traditional,

      Actively anti-nationalist, especially given the documentation primarily taking place in colonized states.

    6. The Archives de la Planete was thus not retroactive but anticipatory, a voluntary rather than involuntary film archiv

      "voluntary rather than involuntary"...unsure what is exactly meant by this.

    7. dium the 'franco-megalomaniacal deliri

      Read up on this. Formal term?

    8. could be seen as an unconscious version of the simultaneously developing 'city sym- phony' film genre as it evolved in Walter

      They may hold similar aesthetics and inspirations, but how could this archive possibly be that influential given how little attention it received?

    9. [I]t is preferable that the indications I gave Monsieur Passet were meant to serve as inspi- ration; in my mind they were of the order of general advice, intended to help us coordinate travellers in different parts of the world into a common enterprise, but it goes without saying that this advice wasn't intended as a sort of restrictive law. Monsieur Passet must always have an open eye and take everything that seems of interest to him; the more he displays a considered initiative, the more we will be happy with his services.

      Firmly balances the degree of control

    10. However, it is still somewhat dangerous to overestimate the influence of Kahn. For it is clear that, at least according to commercial standards, the cameramen were given an uncharacteristic amount of freedom to shoot what they thought was imp

      Good to note, given my impressions.

    11. Kahn suggested newsworthy and other events that the cameramen should film.4

      One perspective.

    12. t Kahn rejected Brunhes' proposal for hiring scientific specialists to be in charge of each mission and decided to leave the overall organisation of the trips and classification of the documents (especially the autochromes) up to Brunhe

      ...and there's the corruptibility. He controls the operation so as not to be corruptible, but rejects expert involvement.

    13. The third crucial factor shaping the Archive was that Kahn decided to employ a team of his own independent cameramen instead of pursuing other options, such as contracting out the technical and filming side of the archive to Gaumont.4

      The perception of self as incorruptible.

    14. . This latter feature mandated that the pho- tographic archive would have to be content with immobile and posed human subjects or env

      This seems insanely impractical. Why choose this medium? For the sake of color film?

    15. stereoscopic photography was abandoned (perhaps because of that medium's as- sociation with entertainment) in favour of basing the photographic collection on autochromes, one of the first colour photographic processes perfected and put on the market by the Lumiere brothers i

      "Stereoscopy is the production of the illusion of depth in a photograph, movie, or other two-dimensional image by the presentation of a slightly different image to each eye, which adds the first of these cues (stereopsis). The two images are then combined in the brain to give the perception of depth."

      Autochrome: "one of the first colour photographic processes perfected and put on the market by the Lumiere brothers"

    16. g Kahn's goal of presenting the world of facts in an 'incorruptible' medi

      Non-fiction film as incorruptible; the curation holds inherent bias; of course he saw HIS archive, run by HIM, as incorruptible.

    17. s. All of his enterprises aimed to tap the utopian promise of modern technologies' ability to enlighten and lead humanity into a more rational, organised and just fut

      Bold claim. Interested in source.

    18. Between 1917 and 1931 fourteen sepa- rate ongoing bulletins were printed and distributed for free to an elite international constituency includ- ing ministers and various heads of stat

      Seems the issue with coverage is elitism.

    19. One reason that the Archives de la Planete had eluded contemporary press coverage may have to do with the fierce anonymity and low profile main- tained by Kahn throughout his li

      How much power did he have over actual operations? Why would his personal anonymity alter the ability of other members to advocate and seek press for the institution?

    20. , making it one of the most unique collections of unedited non-fiction film

      Ah, it literally means film. Like the material. Not film as in a project.

    21. ory has put to rest the tired notion that documentary film was brought to life in three stages following its concep

      Note, in case those three-stages are discussed in another reading.

    22. the visual documents in the Archive resonated with various utopian, elitist and vernacular ideals which were also an essential part of contemporary avant-garde and future documentary movements within and beyond France

      It seems to make more sense that this would be the primary aim of the project; to inspire and fuel arthouse/auteur cinema.

    23. , failed to realise its primary utopian goal - 'the preservation of peace and the furtherance of mutual understanding' between nations.4 In other words, the films were never substantially discussed because never viewed by enough people to fulfil their universalist mission.

      Seems an impossible task. If this was the aim, why reserve it for high society? Were those just the only people who were interested?

    24. , a unique collection of unedited non-fiction films of everyday life shot around the world between 1908 and 193

      "Unedited non-fiction films" - wordy way of saying "archive footage"? Is it a "film" if it serves no more purpose than raw documentation? Question to think about.