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Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction | [Patricia Aufderheide]

Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction

In this concise, crisply written guide, Patricia Aufderheide takes listeners along the diverse paths of documentary history and charts the lively, often fierce debates among filmmakers and scholars about the best ways to represent reality and to tell the truths worth telling. Beginning with an overview of the central issues of documentary filmmaking - its definitions and purposes, its forms and founders - Aufderheide focuses on several of its key subgenres...
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Audible Editor Reviews

The field of documentary filmmaking encompasses a truly breathtaking array of styles, subjects, and philosophical approaches, all explored with care and precision in this engrossing work from Patricia Aufderheide. This contribution to Oxford University Press’ Very Short Introductions series guides listeners through the most contentious issues and tenets of the field, outlining its past, present, and hotly debated future, touching on major influences and examples and deftly drawing listeners into the ongoing disputes that have affected and continue to shape the field to this day.

Tamara Marston performs this comprehensive introduction, her brisk, objective tone skillfully navigating the contentious debates contained herein. Marston is a clear, well-spoken narrator whose clear, almost clipped voice adds polish to this already masterful guide.

Publisher's Summary

Documentary film can encompass anything from Robert Flaherty's pioneering ethnography Nanook of the North to Michael Moore's anti-Iraq War polemic Fahrenheit 9/11, from Dziga Vertov's artful Soviet propaganda piece Man with a Movie Camera to Luc Jacquet's heart-tugging wildlife epic March of the Penguins. In this concise, crisply written guide, Patricia Aufderheide takes listeners along the diverse paths of documentary history and charts the lively, often fierce debates among filmmakers and scholars about the best ways to represent reality and to tell the truths worth telling.

Beginning with an overview of the central issues of documentary filmmaking - its definitions and purposes, its forms and founders - Aufderheide focuses on several of its key subgenres, including public affairs films, government propaganda (particularly the works produced during World War II), historical documentaries, and nature films. Her thematic approach allows listeners to enter the subject matter through the kinds of films that first attracted them to documentaries, and it permits her to make connections between eras, as well as revealing the ongoing nature of documentary's core controversies involving objectivity, advocacy, and bias. Interwoven throughout are discussions of the ethical and practical considerations that arise with every aspect of documentary production.

Drawing on the author's four decades of experience as a film scholar and critic, this audiobook is the perfect introduction not just for teachers and students but also for all thoughtful filmgoers and for those who aspire to make documentaries themselves.

©2007 Patricia Aufderheide (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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    "Everything you need to know in order to learn what"
    What made the experience of listening to Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction the most enjoyable?

    It was crisply written and well read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It tells the story of the evolution of documentary film making in a way that you can see how these threads are still tangling today and into the future.


    What does Tamara Marston bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The pronunciation of all the names! I love this in Audible histories and fact books...
    The way she read it was like a great lecturer. Brining out the information and the story.


    Any additional comments?

    The book itself would give the interested layperson the overview that would allow them to select what they want to zoom in on. It is a great overview.
    BUT IT IS GREAT FOR THOSE EXPERTS--- who need to zoom out a little -- and learn about styles and ways of documentary that are nothing like what they were brought up in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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