Documentary (2007)

download (pdf)

An essay in words and pictures about the thing we call documentary.

“Documentary: does it really exist? The momentum of this word, laid down like a trump card over and again, forecloses any further thought. There are festivals around the world gathered underneath this word, as if for shade and shelter. There is no need to ask any longer where we are, or why, all this can be summoned in a word: documentary. For some it is a credo, a way of life. The documentary, or as MTV likes to name their excursions into the genre: the real world. The name marks a line, a frame, between the objective world and its fictional doubles. Lao Tzu, a Chinese writer born too early for the documentary (anyone raised before the advent of this practice is necessarily fictional) writes: The name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers.”

My Best Friend is Not a Documentary
A Proposal
Documentary and Fiction
Specialty Channel
Nightly News
Natural Disasters
Inside the Body
My Camera, My Self
Movies Without Pictures
Tops and Bottoms
Being Dead
In My Room