Cultural theory and Documentary film

One minute documentaries
October 25, 2009, 15:37
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Is the pure documentary setting up a camera at a given point and film whatever happens in front of it? The literature we have read makes often the point that the camera in itself displaces some of the reality it is supposed to catch. But how should we analyze this example with a videotake from inside a car that could be or could not be observed by those involved as scenery.

The development of cameras steadily decreasing their size and increasing their capability to catch sound and picture is exceptional. What will this mean to documentary, obviously we are getting more and more footage that just wasn´t possible to accumulate earlier.

In this excerpt of reality, the camera is set up inside a cars front window, and we are seeing a apparently random view while the car is waiting for traffic lights to change. We see a person waiting with a dog and a gasstation in the background. It is raining although we aren ´t really sure of the weather since the lead is the windshieldwipers swiping that gives the suggestion of weather conditions mostly. The picture has a misty quality that could be because rainy weather but it could be accomplished by the camera being off-focus. Obviously it has rained since the streets are wet.

Is there any point in making these documentaries? Is it meaningful to document moments and places, situations that is never to be recreated, this is a unique location of the camera documenting a unique setting, a moment of weather conditions and trafficflow that just like all other moments just diappears. And just how musch time can spend on contemplating lost moments that disappears into the vast realms of history?

And is this documentary or should we have to invent another definition to timepieces like these?

Tis film is part of a project on the videosite Vimeo, where the creators of website have invited people to upload one-minute takings without cameramovements. Which of course reminds of the dogma-movie thesis of natural moviemaking…


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