For one of my assignments I have had to watch 6 different documentaries and review each of them taking in key features and noting documentary techniques that I have seen in each. For this Blog I am going to review the Documentary overall and give my general opinion on each of them.

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The first documentary I am reviewing is Triumph of the will, this documentary is about a Nazi Party Rally in Germany in 1934, Once I first heard the synopsis of this documentary I thought it would be very enjoyable, although as I began to watch through it, the less interested I was. Do not get me wrong I find German history extremely interesting but this documentary did not interest me as much as I thought it would. When I was researching this documentary it seems to be that a lot of camera techniques have originated from this documentary, this is one of the first documentaries that had camera movement. So in film terms this documentary is interesting to watch as this was were some camera techniques began so it is interesting to watch a documentary which has effected such a large part of film. On the other hand in terms of story and interest, I find this rather boring and would not recommend it unless you would like to see one of the first times that camera movement was used.

The second documentary I reviewed was The Thin Blue Line, this documentary is about the corruption of the justice system in Dallas Texas, and this documentary follows a man who had been wrongly accused of murder by a corrupt jury in the 1980’s. This documentary I did not think would be interesting and after I watched it what I thought would be a slow boring documentary turned out exactly what I had expected. The documentaries narrative flow is through the interviews which seem to be the only thing that happens which barely keeps the documentary flowing if I am honest. The one thing that I did think helped the documentary better was the reconstruction, but apart from that I wouldn’t recommend this slow moving, boring documentary. 

 

The third documentary which I chose randomly out of the selection of documentaries was Baraka. Baraka is a non-narrative documentary about a compilation of natural events that happens over 14 months in 24 different countries.  Now this does not even seem like a documentary to begin with and as it has no narrative it is quite a slow moving documentary although I think what this documentary lacks in narrative it makes up for in visuals. Throughout this documentary, you see over 100 scenic shots of 24 different countries throughout a year. These shots are visually stunning and very well framed. But sadly this is not enough to keep the entertainment level up, as after an hour through an hour and a half of strange sounds and music score, the documentary finally comes to an end which could not come soon enough. As what began entertaining slowly became rather dull and repetitive, I am glad that I had experienced watching this documentary although I would probably not watch this again or recommend it to anyone, unless I disliked them. 

 

For My fourth documentary I had chosen something a bit more current and entertaining, I chose Bowling for Columbine. Bowling for Columbine is about the rise in weapon violence in America, Why it’s so easy to purchase a gun in the U.S and why two teenagers shot out their school in Columbine High School. This would be one of my favourite documentaries of all time. I do not find the subject matter particular interesting but I feel that Michael Moore’s approach in this documentary is absolute genius. I don’t know what makes this so enjoyable, it might be the comedic cartoons that he shows throughout the documentary or his straight to the point approach in his interviews but I feel that, whatever his particular approach maybe I feel that he gets his point across. This documentary I would happily recommend to anyone it is really enjoyable to any documentary watchers. My only down point about this documentary is sometimes it may seem lengthy because you may lose interest at particular parts although Michael Moore seems to continuously  entertain the audience and keep them entertained and aware what he is trying to say. 

 

My fifth documentary is another one of my personal favourites, Super-Size Me. Super-Size Me is a documentary created by Morgan Spurlock showing what would happen to him physically and psychologically if he ate a McDonald’s meal three times a day for thirty days straight. When I first heard about this documentary I was so excited to watch it due to the fact it not only sounded interesting but the reviews I had read on it were rather positive. I just find that it’s interesting that he was able to film his whole experience over the thirty days and show such significant results but McDonalds is still one of the largest fast food chains in the world. I think this was a good idea for a documentary and was surprised that no one had thought of a documentary like this until 2004. So in terms of visual techniques I wouldn’t say that there was anything particular stunning but I feel that the story behind the documentary just seems to make it that bit better. I would honestly recommend this to anyone as it’s a good indie documentary to show people that you don’t need a large budget to make a multimillion pound documentary. 

 

My last and final documentary was another personal favourite Fahrenheit 911. This documentary looks at George W. Bush, The War on Terror and its coverage in the news. As I have previously mentioned I am a huge Michael Moore fan so once I heard about this documentary I was immediately excited to see it.  To begin with once I seen the released cover art for this documentary I knew it was going to be similar to his other documentaries. Michael Moore seems to just entertain the audience a lot through this documentaries. Although when he mentions a touching subject, he will tread lightly on what he says and does but He usually will then pick up the mood after he has got his point across. In my opinion, I did prefer Bowling for Columbine to this although I find them both genius in terms of story and the way he approaches people involved in his documentaries. The negatives may be again that you may lose track of what is going on throughout the documentary although, I would recommend this film also to anyone and I would also recommend any other Michael Moore documentaries such as Sicko because I find his work utterly genius and when it comes to creating my own documentary and I definitely look back on his work for tips. 

 

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