Claiming the Real
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Claiming the Real : Documentary: Grierson and Beyond

By (author) Brian Winston

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CLAIMING THE REAL II tells the story of the emergence, development and current state of documentary film emerged and addresses the social, political, industrial and ethical factors that have determined documentary production, esepcially in the English-speaking world. John Grierson's definition of the documentary as 'the creative treatment of actuality' appears increasingly inadequate in the face of theoretical sophistication, ethical quagmires and digital's undermining of the photographic image's intrinsic claim on the real. Documentary forms are proliferating. No longer does the 'fly-on-wall' direct cinema style - creative treatment's purest form - sum up the documentary. Diverse forms such as agitprop and advocacy, animated documentary and CGI, satire, poetry and pictorialism, docusoaps, dramadocs and documusicals, excluded feminist, minority and other marginalised voices and first person documentaries, mockumentaries and rockumentaries, never mind 'reality' television - all assert their documentary status. Brian Winston's illuminating history of the documentary is interwoven with considerations of ethical and theoretical concerns. This revised and updated edition includes a restructured last section on 'The Post-Griersonian Documentary'; addresses the issues raised by the richness of recent work, and offers a new definition of documentary that responds to its current abundance.

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  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 168 x 232 x 22mm | 580.6g
  • 15 Jan 2009
  • British Film Institute
  • BFI PUBLISHING
  • London
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 44 black & white halftones
  • 1844572714
  • 9781844572717
  • 451,060

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Author Information

BRIAN WINSTON is the Lincoln Professor of Communications at the University of Lincoln, and has been involved with documentary since 1963. He has an Emmy for documentary scriptwriting; has taught documentary in both the US and the UK; and has long been involved with many international documentary film festivals and the Visible Evidence conference series. Winston first wrote about documentary in 1978. He is the author of a number of books, including Media, Technology and Society: A History, from the Telegraph to the Internet (1998), a volume on "Fires Were Started-" (1999) in the BFI Film Classics series, Lies, Damn Lies and Documentaries (2000) and Messages: Free Expression, Media and the West, from Gutenberg to Google (2005).

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