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Unit information: Documentary Histories and Practices in 2020/21

Unit name Documentary Histories and Practices
Unit code FATV20009
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Piccini
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

FATV10002 Close-up on Film

or

FATV10001 Filmmaking Fundamentals

Co-requisites

None

School/department Department of Film and Television
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

The unit will consider key moments and texts in the history of documentary film and television production, and explore the ethical, social and aesthetic questions they raise. Specifically, the unit will explore the problems of history, actuality, indexicality and evidence that documentary poses makers and audiences. The unit will focus on considering modes, styles and contexts for documentary making, leading to the production of a documentary work.

The unit aims to:

  • develop knowledge and critical understanding of histories of documentary film, television and interactive media, through considering key movements in screen documentary and the technical, cultural and philosophical contexts informing them;
  • develop an in-depth understanding of theoretical contexts of documentary forms and practices;
  • develop the ability to analyse and evaluate competing perceptions of documentary film, television and interactive media;
  • develop the ability to describe, evaluate, analyse and critique documentary film, television and interactive media.

The unit is Open, by approval of unit convenor (based on evidence of appropriate practical skills).

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

(1) demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of histories of documentary film, television and interactive media;

(2) engage in a detailed and informed fashion with the theoretical contexts of documentary forms and practices;

(3) analyse and evaluate competing perceptions of documentary film, television and interactive media;

(4) work constructively and creatively in a group-based workshop and engage in peer critique;

(5) work independently and reach individual/personal judgements within a collaborative context;

(6) work within the disciplines of production and project processes, working to deadlines and within production budgets;

(7) articulate an understanding of the aesthetics of a project as a whole and translate this into practice.

Teaching details

Weekly workshop, lecture, and screening.

Assessment Details

100% Practical Portfolio, equivalent to 4000 words

Reading and References

  • Bruzzi, S. (2000). New Documentary: A Critical Introduction, London: Routledge.
  • Chanan, M. (2007) The Politics of Documentary, London: BFI.
  • Cousins, M. and Macdonald, K. (1998) Imagining Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary, London: Faber and Faber.
  • Nichols, B. (2001). Introduction to Documentary, Indiana: Indiana University Press.
  • Renov, M. (2004) The Subject of Documentary, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Winston, B. (1995) Claiming the Real: The Documentary Film Revisited, London: BFI.

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