Documentary Modes Of Address

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Documentary Film Quizzes & Trivia

How well do you know documentary? Bill Nichols (2001) In an Introduction to Documentary notes 6 distinct styles of documentary. Although, modern reality programming often sees mixed styles these modes are still present in reality programming.
Match the correct style to the description, use your class notes and your booklet to answer the questions. Print off your results for your file.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    Voice of God.  Uses a Narrator,  most associated with Traditional Documentaries and Televsion News Progrmaming.

    • A.

      Expository

    • B.

      Observational

    • C.

      Poetic

    • D.

      Performative

    • E.

      Participatory

    • F.

      Reflexive

    Correct Answer
    A. Expository
    Explanation
    The correct answer is Expository. Expository documentaries are known for their use of a narrator, which is often referred to as the "Voice of God." This style is commonly seen in traditional documentaries and television news programming, where the narrator provides information and explanations to guide the audience through the content.

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  • 2. 

    Fly on the wall.  the camera and film crew seem not to be disturbing the scene or even noticed by the participants in the documentary.

    • A.

      Expository

    • B.

      Observational

    • C.

      Poetic

    • D.

      Performative

    • E.

      Participatory

    • F.

      Reflexive

    Correct Answer
    B. Observational
    Explanation
    The correct answer is "Observational" because it describes the style of the documentary where the camera and film crew are not interfering with the scene and the participants are not aware of their presence. This suggests that the documentary is taking an observational approach, simply observing and capturing the events without any interference or participation from the filmmakers.

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  • 3. 

    An inner truth that moves away from the objective reality.  visual, tonal or rhythmic qualities may be emphasised.

    • A.

      Expository

    • B.

      Observational

    • C.

      Poetic

    • D.

      Performative

    • E.

      Participatory

    • F.

      Reflexive

    Correct Answer
    C. Poetic
    Explanation
    The correct answer is "Poetic." This term suggests that the inner truth or subjective experience is emphasized over objective reality. In a poetic approach, visual, tonal, or rhythmic qualities may be highlighted to convey emotions or deeper meanings. This style often involves using creative and metaphorical language to evoke a certain mood or atmosphere.

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  • 4. 

    Filmmaker as instigator, events often created by the filmmakers for the sake of the film.

    • A.

      Expository

    • B.

      Observational

    • C.

      Poetic

    • D.

      Performative

    • E.

      Participatory

    • F.

      Reflexive

    Correct Answer
    D. Performative
    Explanation
    Performative films are characterized by events that are created by the filmmakers for the sake of the film. In this type of filmmaking, the filmmakers actively participate in the creation of events and manipulate them to serve the artistic vision of the film. The focus is on the performative aspect of filmmaking, where the filmmakers take on an active role in shaping the narrative and the events that unfold on screen. This differs from observational or participatory films, where the events are captured as they naturally occur or where the audience actively participates in the creation of the film.

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  • 5. 

    The filmcrew takes part in the action.    There is often a direct engagement between filmmaker and subject and the filmmaker becomes part of the events being recorded.

    • A.

      Expository

    • B.

      Observational

    • C.

      Poetic

    • D.

      Performative

    • E.

      Participatory

    • F.

      Reflexive

    Correct Answer
    E. Participatory
    Explanation
    In a participatory documentary, the film crew actively participates in the action and becomes part of the events being recorded. This means that there is a direct engagement between the filmmaker and the subject, blurring the line between observer and participant. The filmmaker's presence and involvement in the events being documented adds a layer of subjectivity to the film, as their perspective and experiences shape the narrative. This style of documentary often aims to give a voice to marginalized communities or explore social issues through personal experiences.

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  • 6. 

    Acknowledges the constructed nature of documentary and has an awareness of process.  It conveys to an audience that they are presenting a truth but not necessarily the truth.  The audience is made aware of the editing, sound recording how a documentary is produced is often exposed to the audience.

    • A.

      Expository

    • B.

      Observational

    • C.

      Poetic

    • D.

      Performative

    • E.

      Participatory

    • F.

      Reflexive

    Correct Answer
    F. Reflexive
    Explanation
    The concept of reflexivity in documentary filmmaking refers to the acknowledgment of the constructed nature of the documentary and the awareness of the process involved in its creation. A reflexive documentary aims to convey to the audience that what they are watching is a presentation of truth, but not necessarily the absolute truth. It often exposes the editing, sound recording, and other aspects of production, making the audience conscious of the filmmaking process. Therefore, the answer "Reflexive" aligns with the given explanation.

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