Modes of representation in the documentary genre

From Austin Storm
Jump to: navigation, search

Six modes of representation in the documentary genre:

  1. poetic
  2. expository
  3. participatory
  4. observational
  5. reflexive
  6. performative

The full quote:

Individual voices lend themselves to an auteur theory of cinema, while shared voices lend themselves to a genre theory of cinema. Genre study considers the qualities that characterize groupings of various of filmmakers. In documentary film and video, we can identify six modes of representation that function something like sub-genres of the documentary genre itself: poetic, expository, participatory, observational, reflexive, performative. These six modes establish a loose framework of affiliation within which individuals may work; they set up conventions that a given film may adopt; and they provide specific expectations viewers anticipate having fulfilled.

- Bill Nichols' Introduction to Documentary