Topic: Entertainment & MediaActors

Last updated: January 29, 2019

Documentaries are known for the truthfulness they bring and are seen as reliable sources for the truth they portray. The way they convey the truth is through a variety of film techniques, but the main two styles are cinema verite and direct cinema. Direct Cinema is a documentary genre that originated between 1958 and 1962 in North America, principally in the Canadian province of Quebec and the United States and developed by Jean Rouch in France. Direct cinema is a style that has an objective view in which the subject and audience become unaware of the presence of the camera and sound equipment is used to make a more intimate work. Cinema verite was created in the 1950’s in France and is a bit more of a subjective view and an overt view where the director is often seen in the film.

The two examples where you can see the difference of these techniques is possessed and catfish where catfish has a lot of cinema verite techniques and possessed is the opposite with an extreme direct cinema view but in the end, they both looking to uncover the truth.The film possessed by Martin Hampton is a fantastic example of direct cinema and observational documentary which watches the lives of people who are obsessed and possessed of the possessions, and it is becoming a massive problem that they aren’t even leaving their homes and looks very strange to the outside world. The director does a great job of portraying the direct cinema aspect of the film as it is exceptionally observational and looks to the audience as if the cameras are not even apparent throughout the film.

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The editing throughout the documentary is very straight quick cuts as if there is too much editing it will take away from the documentary. The reliability of the film is increased drastically with the direct cinema aspects of the film as the people that are starring in the film are not actors and are just regular people portraying their real lives. The raw footage throughout the film removes the bias from the film as there are fewer cuts which mean everything that is happening is real and authentic.

The shots and camera angle are seen as well as the director uses close-ups and extreme close-ups to show the real emotion on the people’s faces and the sympathy and sadness they are feeling.Catfish is a documentary by Ariel Schuman which is a subjective film which has an extreme amount of cinema verite qualities throughout it. The documentary is about Nev Shulman who is the main character who also helps direct the film that according to him gets catfished by a female named Megan that just turned out to be the mum who was catfishing multiple people at the same time. The film has many cinema verite qualities and is extremely covert throughout the film as the director, and the main actor is talking most of the time throughout the documentary and was also a film the main character had the idea of. There are many camera angles and camera shots where the audience can see the scene was scripted and weren’t genuine thoughts that would have been filmed later on with mid-shots and close-ups where the messages were from the day before. The mise en scène is also a big thing throughout as most scenes are just in the protagonists’ bedroom and is very casual.

There are a lot more cuts in this film then the direct cinema scene Possessed where even though it’s the same scene it has been cutThe filmmaker’s style has a major effect on the film and the audience thoughts on bias throughout. As it is hard not to show bias in cinema verite as the director is often close to the situation, and they want their point of view to be heard mainly. Whereas in direct cinema it has a more realistic feel to it as it has a lot more differing opinion which tends to bring more of the truth out. The films techniques seem to have a massive difference in how the film is portrayed towards the audience as in direct cinema both of the sides of the story are shown and lets the audience decide whatever they want whereas cinema verite makes the audience try to agree with them and has less truthfulness


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