documentary

Chuck Tryon's picture

Digital Nation

This semester I’ve been teaching a master’s-level course for teachers called “Using Technology in the Language Arts Classroom,” and as usual, teaching the course pushes me to think about how digital tools fit into the pedagogical needs of today’s student population.  With that in mind, I’ve been curious for a while to see the PBS documentary, Digital Nation, directed by Rachel Dretzin, with contributions from Douglas Rushkoff, in part because of the attempt by the filmmakers to extend the conversation about the issues presented in the film to the web.  Like Henry Jenkins, who has posted a negative review of the film (but a positive review of the website), I found myself feeling frustrated at how the documentary framed a number of important questions about digital media literacy, but as an example of a transmedia documentary, I think it’s a fascinating case study, something that media scholars and others can use to powerful effect in their classrooms. ... read more »

Chuck Tryon's picture

Friday Links: Redbox, JFK, and Tricky Dick

My first sets of papers and other projects are starting to trickle in, so blog time may be curtailed once again, but I am hoping to see Shutter Island again and may even have time to weigh in with a review.  For now, here are a few links: ... read more »

Shawn Sobers's picture

3rd Cinema Screening Room #2: Average Journey For An Average Refugee

Continuing the theme of Third Cinema films coming out of community media, please see the film below.  It is based on a true story, and by a pure coincidence relates to the discussion of ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ that I explored in the previous post, though the film has a very different conclusion.

Average Journey For An Average Refugee ... read more »

ajuhasz's picture

Queer You(th) Tube Talk on YouTube on YouTube

Unfortunately, I can not make the Digital Media and Learning Conference occurring at UCSD February 18-20 because I’ll be in Berlin for the premier of THE OWLS. I have organized my talk as a twenty-minute playlist on YouTube, moving between queer youth videos and my analysis of how copying, mocking, mimicking and faking are no longer queer. ... read more »

Chuck Tryon's picture

Education and Participatory Documentary

As many readers will know, one of the documentaries at this year’s Sundance is Davis Guggenheim’s Waiting for Superman, which traces and seeks to explain the crisis in public education in the United States.  Given my role as a professor who often works with future teachers, I’m acutely aware of many of the debates swirling around public education in this country, so I’ll be interested to see how the film plays out. ... read more »

Chuck Tryon's picture

Documenting Haiti

Like most people, my attention in recent days has been directed toward the earthquakes in Haiti and their aftermath: the rescue efforts, the struggles to survive, and the discussions of how to rebuild.  But although I find myself following the story attentively, I have been unable to shake my frustration with the exploitative coverage seen on U.S. television, both on national and cable news stations, and the lack of historical context offered in many of the stories we get.  Much of this has to do with the “liveness” of the story, the fact that the crisis is unfolding in real time, but as Melissa Click points out, once the initial crisis wears off, it is questionable whether the news media will continue to cover the story and provide vital historical background that could provide better information about the country’s political and economic history, details that are essential in garnering support for providing foreign aid. ... read more »

Shawn Sobers's picture

Community Media as ‘Third Cinema’

I haven’t written here much lately as I had to put all my writing energy into finishing writing my PhD, which is now done, (the viva in May, wish me luck!!!).  There are a few places I want to take my research further in the future, one of which is to develop the discourse of positioning the films made in community media educational projects as a form of ‘Third Cinema’, the independent political film tradition  1... read more »

ajuhasz's picture

“The Camera is the Problem”: Boring Paranormal Camcorder Cinema

A YouTube hand-held jump-cut DIY sensibility masks cine-gimmicks as old as Melies and ever so much more tired given their age: doors that open and close on their own (creepy!), bumps in the night (scary!), sounds in the wings (BOOM!!), footprints in powder (an uber-faux Piercian index given our universal knowledge about the trick of manufacturing ghost-like appearances via a tripod and camera: on/off/devil hooves on powder/on again). ... read more »

Chuck Tryon's picture

Cinema Eye Honors 2010

Just a quick pointer to the list of this year’s winners at the Cinema Eye Honors documentary awards.  Although the winter often seems to be overloaded with excessive award ceremonies, the Cinema Eye Honors help call attention to the often unrecognized genre of documentary filmmaking and, more crucially, remind us that documentary, like fiction filmmaking is a craft. ... read more »

Chuck Tryon's picture

Saturday Links

Now that my computer seems to be back up to speed, I’m hoping to blog on a regular basis again.  I’ve got a couple of posts brewing including a discussion of a graduate seminar I’ve been asked to teach, a version of my Using Technology in the Language Arts Classroom course I’ve done twice before.  I was unhappy with how the previous version turned out, so as usual I’ll be soliciting advice, crowdsourcing, and trying to rethink how the course might work best.  I’m also still thinking about a “decadism” post as I contemplate all of th ... read more »