Capturing Reality – The Art Of The Documentary (2008/First Run Features DVD Set)
C+ Sound: C+ Extras: B Documentary: B-
documentaries become exciting and even profitable? Why are they no longer seen as a boring
medium and (outside of digital video) seen an explosion of production? Pepita Ferrari’s Capturing Reality – The Art Of The Documentary (2008) looks at a
cross-section of reasons for this by interviewing many of the hottest and most
important directors in the field.
minutes, you would think they would get to the point and get all these
questions answered. Instead, though we
learn about some great documentaries seen and that deserve to be seen (you are
bound not to have heard of some of them), but the project gets sidetracked by
some of the directors getting self-indulgent and going off in tangents about
their work or how they think. Some of
them are full of themselves, while others do offer insight that helps us
understand the process of making these types of projects.
course, they sometimes contradict each other and that is to be expected, but
the makers should have become more proactive in making more points, even if
this had to be longer and footage in the extras not in the main program prove
that this should have been more expansive and ambitious, or at least a longer
cut should have been made.
get a crash course on the subject in many great clips and interviews with the
likes of Scott Hicks, Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, Nick Broomfield, Patricio
Guzman, Albert Maysles, Joan Churchill, Catherine Martin and many more. Michael Moore does not show up, but he is
address what does is missed, Though some of the documentaries have been bad and
as guilty of phoniness as so-called “reality TV”, as mergers and acquisitions
have occurred and certain political forces have waged a war on journalism
itself, plus the rise of 24-hour-news channels that have too often watered down
or distorted what used to be a respectable business all the time brought down
too often to a tabloid level, more filmmakers (especially those who have not
been able to break into narrative film) find themselves being directors,
storytellers of the facts, try to get larger truths across and become
substitutes for the real journalists we used to have all the time and take for
It is a
trend bound to continue for a long time, even with the rise of new media and
enhanced 1.78 X 1 image shot on new digital video that has some softness and
motion blur, but is not bad and may be High Definition. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has
well-recorded new interviews, but like some of the documentary clip footage,
you do get volume drops at times. Extras
include over four hours of additional interview clips as the
interviewee/directors have much more to say.
is a good thing.
- Nicholas Sheffo