Back to The New School

Art & History of Documentary

Documentary filmmaking is a broad and diverse cinematic form that variously informs, delights, angers, touches, provokes, calls to action, shapes attitudes, and challenges assumptions. This course examines how changing technology, shifting social and political realities, and the personalities and talents of influential individuals have continually re-defined what documentary means.

Silvia Vega-Llona
Silvia Vega-Llona
My main interests encompass the relation between the cinema, mind, affect and the public sphere. In particular, I examine the potential of documentary film as well as feature films (analogue and digital forms) for fostering a critical engagement with and understanding of the contemporary world. This requires an ethnographic and anthropological point of view alongside aesthetic and formal criteria. Specific topics tha...
Read More
Jan 22 - May 07
4:00 - 5:50 PM
Spring 2019
CRN 4951
Questions? Call Us or E-mail Us
What you will learn
  • Students will be introduced to the history of the genre of non-fiction filmmaking, including the earliest actuality films of the Lumiere brothers.
  • The course covers various documentary modes and aesthetics including propagandistic, expositional, direct cinema, poetic, performative and self-reflexive explorations of film truth.
  • Students learn how to effectively analyze and write about cinematic art forms in the documentary tradition.
  • The course approaches the documentary form though examination of the history and practice of documentary filmmaking.
  • Screenings are supplemented by reading, written responses, and in-class discussion.
  • The course considers ethical as well as aesthetic issues.
Back to top