By Annabelle Honess Roe
Animated Documentary, the 1st booklet to be released in this interesting subject, considers how animation is used as a representational procedure in nonfiction movie and tv and explores the methods animation expands the diversity and intensity of what documentary can exhibit us in regards to the world.
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Extra info for Animated Documentary
The power of the film image, for Bazin, arises from its ability to ‘lay bare the realities’ (Bazin, 2005 : 15), and this could best be done in a style that maintained the physical and spatial as it is in our own direct experience, rather than the juxtaposition of shots that disrupt space and time. Digital Realities 43 But, just as realism is a style it is also something that is culturally specific and conditionally accepted, rather than an absolute. Manovich (2002: 186–7) indicates this quality when he examines how the look of cinematic realism, and thus audience conception of what counts as realist, has changed with developments in the technology of filmmaking and production.
These films, through the use of animation, are proposing documentary’s ability and suitability as a strategy to represent the world in here of personal experience as well as the world out there of observable events. As an extension of this, films that engage with the personal memories of the filmmakers, such as Waltz with Bashir (Folman, 2008) and Silence (Yadin and Bringas, 1998), use animation as a tool to explore and reveal hidden or forgotten pasts, further demonstrating the medium’s capacity for documenting the world from a subjective point of view.
Animation is more than a simple one-for-one stand-in, however. It is, to state the obvious, different from live-action film. This is why it is able to make up for the representational limitations of what it replaces. On the one hand, filmed footage, and its attendant presumed direct relationship with reality is missing. While, on the other hand, animation, through its potential multiplicity of styles, techniques and means of production, becomes a visual excess that we need to factor in when interpreting the nature, and meaning, of animated documentaries.