The Documentary: Politics, Emotion, Culture

The Documentary: Politics, Emotion, Culture

Language: English

Pages: 221

ISBN: 1137482516

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Belinda Smaill proposes an original approach to documentary studies, examining how emotions such as pleasure, hope, pain, empathy, nostalgia or disgust are integral both to the representation of selfhood in documentary, and to the way documentaries circulate in the public sphere.

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trends in documentary and the subjectivities that are most visibly aligned with these groupings of films or television series. Following this, the chapters explore how these subjects are shaped by their relationship to a narrow band of emotions, such as pleasure, disgust, pain, loss, care, hope and nostalgia. In each chapter, the work of these emotions is considered in respect to the specific aesthetic, social and historical features of the documentaries under discussion. The second chapter in

straightforward imposition of classificatory terms. Moreover, the self-narration that is sustained throughout much of the documentary presents Chong as a subject of feminist critique and also as hyper-sexual. In this respect, Celine Parrenas Shimizu goes further to describe Chong as a new subject of feminism – an Asian female sexual pervert. For Parrenas Shimizu, in The World’s Biggest Gang Bang Chong appropriates ‘technologies of the camera and the contest for perversity in porn in order to

of a Westernised legal or welfare system. This is the case whether it is female subjects who are administering the law or attempting to transform their lives through appealing to the courts. This focus eclipses other cultural forces that may be a factor for these individuals such as popular culture, education, class and so forth. Within her focus, Longinotto is attentive to the particularity of diverse cultural contexts, historical influences and the importance of localised solidarity between

to unsettle the formal qualities of documentary representation itself. This discussion builds on Renov’s theorisation of death and mourning in contemporary documentary. Renov usefully expands mourning beyond familial sorrow to look at the greater potential for identificatory practices to work as an ‘intrapsychic activity’ (The Subject 125). He explores the way death opens up a gap in the (Lacanian) Real. This void might then be confronted by words and images, signifiers that contribute to the

in the text. Music, nostalgia and reality television The musical numbers are the focus of the competition’s objective – the search for a pop star, decided through on-screen judging and 174 The Documentary audience votes. In this respect, the numbers offer a forum and a teleology through which self-improvement and cultivation, according to strict normalising rules of behaviour and appearance, are enacted. Yet the musical performances also play a role in structuring the Idol programmes and

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