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speaking truths with film/film assignment

In the textbook, read all of Part 2 “The Audio in Audiovisual”, pages 59-93.

This provides a context for the history of sound in film and documentary specifically. It talks about the role of music in documentaries, and also the role of the Voice-Over Narrator as well as that of the Voices of those who are the subject of the film 

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You’ve already noticed the impact of music in Nanook of the North, now think about how Nichols discusses music as a way to draw viewers in and create an emotional connection.

Then, think about how the ability to record sounds and voices, including archival footage (old films, newsreels, home movies, etc.) affects the way documentaries can portray the world. Remember that all of this is edited and arranged.

Finally, consider the role of voice over narration, especially the film maker’s voice, providing context for viewers, as well as steering the tone and point of the film.

NEW TERM: Tone. Look up the various definitions of Tone online.

One that doesn’t show up in most regular dictionaries is the Literary Definition of Tone: How the author (or film-maker) expresses their attitude about what they are writing/filming. How can you tell if a writer or film-maker agrees with his subject, pities them, is mocking them? etc. The tone of the author/director also helps steer the reader/viewer to a particular emotional or intellectual reaction to what they are reading or viewing. If a film-maker makes an interview seem serious and, important (dramatic music, stable camera work, dull colors, use of words in the voice over, etc.), the viewer will probably subconsciously react seriously to it. This week’s film is Grizzly Man from 2005 by Werner Herzog. Grizzly Man is about Timothy Treadwell, who lived alone with Grizzly Bears. It has some unpleasant scenes, so be warned.  Don’t look up Treadwell first, watch the film.

In order to watch this film (I was going to show it live from my account during F2F class, but…) you need to go to and you can create a free account and watch it free with some ads. If you have Amazon Prime, I think it is still free there without ads.

I hope you enjoy it!   This week, use the Holman Library Catalog (right-click and open a new tab from the link on the left) to search for Grizzly Man. You will find two peer-reviewed articles about the film. Choose 1 to read and do the following:

Write a 2-3 page paper that summarizes the key points or criticisms of the article for half of the paper, and then present your views on the articles points in relation to your viewing of Grizzly Man. Do you agree/disagree? why/why not? Does the article make you think about an aspect of the film differently? Why/why not? 

Please use College Level Standard American English in your paper, edit, proofread, etc. and use specific example. When you quote the article use MLA style citations (author’s last name) when you quote a film, you use the director’s last name in this case (Herzog).   NB here are link for the two peer-review article about the film: 1)file:///Users/ericpoci/Downloads/grizzly%20review%202.webarchive


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