Free «Documentary Films» Essay Sample

This paper compares and contrasts the techniques used in two documentary films, Young at heart and Exit through the gift shop so as to create messages and themes used in the films. Documentary films comprise of a wide group of nonfictional motion pictures aimed to document various aspect of reality for the purpose to maintain a historical record. The story Exit through the gift shop documents how film maker who was an amateur and a French shopkeeper attempts to find and befriend Bansky, notorious street artist. The artist later returns the camera to the owner. This firm has the footage of Shephard Fairey, Bansky, and invader. It is written by Sundance film festival.

The film young at heart, on the other hand, documents a true story of the last weeks of rehearsal of the chorus of the Young at Heart in Northampton, MA; with an average age is 81. Many must conquer health adversities in order to participate. Their music is unexpected since it goes against the stereotype of their old age group by performing songs, for instance, sang by, Sonic Youth and James Brown. Even though, they have toured Europe and singing for royalty, this story focuses on preparation of new songs that they had to performance in their home town, which eventually succeeds despite of numerous real heart breaking events. The story is written by Fox searchlight.



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Some of the documentary techniques that these films have are the use of fine art. This is whereby each image communicates certain ideas of emotions. There is also the use of direct cinema such as archival footage; whereby there is the use photograph to review what happened in the past. Reenactment is used in the films where there staged reenactments events extracted from the past events so as to recreate real-life feelings, and is staged by actors. Ambient sound technique whereby sound present in the film background in a scene. Other documentary techniques used direct interview technique whereby interviewer can be heard asking questions. Voiceover narration where a character is heard speaking about some issues such as conflict or problems. Use of graphics, whereby there is the use of titles or information written on the screen. Direct narration; narrator is seen and heard narrating in the film.

In the film exit through the gift shop, some of the techniques used are the use of stencils, which are traditionally printed or handwritten onto sheets made of acetate before cutting using hand. Bansky uses stencils in his work although it is said that he uses computer for his images. Touching on modern cultural trends, the admired art divide obsession while showcasing the most renowned artists, the film "Exit through the gift shop" offers wide audience appeal, mainly for international and urban viewers fascinated by underground art, and film fans captivated by unconventional narrative techniques.

A product of the graffiti art that initially originated with the 1970s from the B-Boy culture, street art features similar to outlaw attitudes and outdoor locations as its precursor, incorporating extra media in artworks, including, posters, stencils, sculptural and stickers materials. French expert Thierry Guetta who was a retailer from Los Angeles also an obsessive home videographer, is caught up accompanying his street artist cousin, Invader, on the night excursions posting his mosaic images, which were Space Invader. Following the experience of adrenaline rush, due to Invader unlawfully posting his guerilla artwork, Guetta is obsessed and starts looking for other artists to film, together with, Buff Monster Neck Face and Shephard Fairey.

Guetta is obsessed with the world of street art and starts travelling in many countries assisting artists in their frequently unlawful installations for more than the eight-year period on the excuse of making a documentary, in spite of him lacking the filmmaking experience work of as an artist. . Banksy, a British graffiti artist, who used stencil, was the only one he could not manage, since he concealed his identity especially to his closest associates. However in the year 2006, Guetta gets an opportunity to assist Banksy when he went to Los Angeles so as to improve his confidence in his work as an artist. Picking random footage and images from many of videotapes, those undocumented and undated, Guetta produces many documentaries and he becomes the street artist. Bansky also takes his responsibility to produce flips of firms making him a filmmaker.This makes the film open montage features of archival footage, from these notable art films from the street to the whole world.

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The result is the nested film’s structure with Guetta's rough footage of artists at work starting point for Banksy's more polished outlook on the details of the artistic process, the nature of personality, and the commodification of art. Banksy is seen working both in Guetta’s footage with his features hidden, and in an interview on the on-camera wearing a sweater shirt that is hooded, with his voice disguised and face hidden. Slyly described by actor Rhys Ifans and featuring wide interviews with Banksy and Guetta, a self-aggrandizing and enigmatic subject who’s often improbable and amusing statements stretch trustworthiness,"Exit through the Gift Shop" also entails exclusive footage comprising of well-known artists from the streets creating their work.

The film young at heart entertains by inspiring young individuals, and has songs that delight audiences. Stephen walker, the author of the documentary ‘Young at heart,’ starts the firm by showing how the retirees who are led by musical director who is strict. They were rehearsing for their new show, and they are struggling with the discordant in order to give James Brown’s song I feel good’. What at the end happens is emergence of friendship, reaching beyond expectation and creative inspiration.

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The filmmaker uses the technique of cutting between the audience and the chorus. The emotional responses in the performance of the chorus bring drama in this scene. The setting in the prison yard heightens the tension since the chorus changes captivity place in a sanctuary. Additionally, by the alternating vocals, the singers get the opportunity to harmonize between the group effect and their styles individually. Many songs in the film ‘Young at heart’ have new pitch when performed by individuals at the last part tail of their lives. Songs such as “yes, we can”, “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Should I Stay or Should I Go” have messages and themes that reflects on memory, mortality and the messages that encourages one to keep on going.

The quality and entertainment value of the film young at heart is suitable for all levels musically. Emotionally as well as a mark of respect to the old who inspires with their youthful attitude, feistiness and their refusal to surrender to old age. It shocks the audience when they see the oldies struggling with the chorus by battling to master the rhythm and the words in the song and the rough modern composition.

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In addition to standard documentary film techniques there is always an additional bonus which is gravely entertaining. This is seen in the making of the numerous video clips of the pop music featuring this Chorus. Popular observation is this rock video belongs to the kingdom of the young, however this perception is reversed using some wonderful versions of “Golden Years”, “Staying’ Alive”, and “I Want to Be Sedated all”, In addition, the Chorus is sang at a local jail, and as they sing the prisoners are seen shedding tears and the audience too.

The filmmaker of this film also plays with contrast moving between the bright colors and circling camera of the studio scenes to the muffled steady gaze and colors of the live performance. All the while the same song continues, woven seamlessly between studio and live performance He uses a constantly changing mixture of visual and audio forms to keep the viewer engaged. He intersperses still photos, many with the patented Burns technique that moves in or out on the particular image. This is with video images, both modern interviews in color and archival white and black in the TV footage.

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The performance goes on even after receiving the new s that their friend has died. They raised their arm and the audience suggests their inspiring spirits to continue. They show their human connection despite their old age. In spite of Walker's nastiness, the likability and decency of the members of the Young at Heart shines throughout. Eileen Hall, who is the oldest member at the age of 92, is an endearing flirt; and Fred Knittle astonishes with his quiet dignity and strength. All the chorus’ members survive mean-spiritedness of walker, and they all worth being seen in the movie.

In conclusion, the films exit through the gift shop and young at heart are documentaries that have features that portray some messages.For instance, the film exit through the gift shop portrays techniques such as use of fine art whereby Bansky uses stencils, a traditional method of painting, and the images were assumed that were made using computers because his work had photocopy nature. The film young at heart uses the technique of dancing performances to pass messages of the past. It is therefore apparent that these films use different documentary film techniques to pass messages.


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