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**sorry about the noise of the sirens and wind I hope its not too distracting and I hope you enjoy!**

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Today in class we focused on Dziga Vertov’s “‘Kinoks-Revolution,’ Selections”. We got into pairs and looked through the reading for five rules or elements to a Vertov film. We came up with things like but not limited to: do not copy what you see exactly, give your audience something visually stimulating to look at but don’t give them too much so that they miss the point, don’t use the camera as an extension of the human eye, and every film must have a theme which is more important than genre or editing. After identifying the rules with our partner we created academic paragraphs with Gordon Harvey’s elements of a thesis, evidence, analysis and a conclusion sentence. As a class we went over the paragraphs to focus on the difficult task of analysis and how to keep it from being too vague or just more evidence. After that we went over our next project due, the “Kino-Pravda Film Essay”. Professor Ferguson went over the assignment and explained it more clearly. We began planning for it creating a script. We made first drafts of Vertovian Kino-Pravda scripts in an Eisenstein sort of way, making a script of not words but the different shots we will be using. For Monday we need to bring in all of the Vertov readings and a hard copy of either the “Annotated Bibliography” or the “Persuasive Epistolary Essay” we wrote. Also Professor Ferguson pushed back the due date for the next film assignment, the “Kino-Pravda Film Essay”, which was set to be due on Wednesday, November 24th, but has been moved back to Saturday, November 27th, before midnight.

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When I had first learned that we would be doing a few readings by Dziga Vertov, my first thought was who is this guy and why is he so important? After reading a few of his manifestos, I am realizing just home important he and his thoughts are. Vertov was a documentary and newsreel director who is also looked at as a cinema theorist. His manifestos about kinopravda, “film truth”, and the importance, or lack there of, of cinematography are brilliant! I really find what he has to say interesting and intriguing, especially the way they are presented to us in such short precious sentences like little thoughts jotted down on a piece of paper. In class we focused on the first reading “WE: Variant of a Manifesto”, which heavily discussed the matter of cinematography and how it gets in the way of true art in films. I agree with what this first reading said, I think it’s true that the picking and cutting and editing of a film just ruin it’s true original beauty.

After reading the brief reading called “The Fifth Issue of Kinopravda”, I found out that Kinopravda was actually a film journal ran by Vertov. I think that in this Vertov is explaining that “newsreel(s) should feed off reality” (Vertov 11) and not feed into this new revelation of editing and cutting and changing things around. That a newsreel should stay close to the truth and not edit it with good lighting or fix things, it should stay close to the idea of kinopravda which is “film truth.”

Lastly the longest reading was “Kinoks: A Revolution”, which although more lengthy then the others was more full of information. I think that the first thing that stuck out to me was the structure of this reading its very well planned out, it even has subtitles which point out other pieces of evidence that support his claims on film truth and newsreels in general. The manifesto starts out with Vertov talking to us, the filmmakers, the audiences, the proprietors, the people stuck with memories and the waiters, he speaks to us saying open your eyes to whats around you, look at the sensations of cinema going threw a revolution! I think the way he says this, the way it stands out on a page, the way its written and the way he compares the the revolution to guts spilling out of a body, I just thought was so amazing! He then goes on to explain different cases where this “revolution” is occurring, giving us pure evidence and logos (logical persuasion) with the dates and facts and everything. I just think that Vertov is very smart and the way he puts these writings together is what makes them. Threw them we are allowed to get a taste of Vertov, and i absolutely loved what he was saying.

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When I first started reading Documenting Ourselves by Sharon R. Sherman I thought about how this pertained to our learning thus far in class. Other than the article being about documentaries, it also related to another reading we did recently. I compared this very long reading to Gordon Harvey’s Elements of the Academic Essay and they had a lot of similarities. Being as this was a formal writing it had a lot of Harvey’s fundamental thirteen elements of an academic essay.

The first element you spot right off the bat when reading Sherman’s reading was that it had a title (element #13) which in this chapter is Projecting the self, filmic technique and construction and much like Harvey says Sherman’s title is there to “both interest and inform” (Harvey.) It is there to both catch your attention and interest and get you to read it and to tell you what the chapter is mostly about. After that you notice that the writing has a thesis sentence (Element #1) which in this case is “The films structure is the mark of the filmmaker’s truth and the truth he or she discerns in the topic or persons being depicted.” This shows what Harvey was saying by a thesis being the main idea the text is about. Which in this specific case are the truths and the depiction of truths in documentaries. Another thing that I noticed from reading it was that it was set up in a structure that contained evidence (element #3) in body paragraphs showing what Sherman is trying to get across to prove his points on truths. This idea is like the “meat and potatoes” like Professor Ferguson said in class. Throughout the whole reading there are examples of other elements as well like key terms (element #5) like the word truths which doesn’t exactly mean truth it sometimes means the truth the director wants you to see and style (element #12) which shows how Sherman thinks by just the way he sets up a sentence. Also there is stitching which we discussed in class that is scattered throughout the whole reading and not just in the first paragraph.

Although there is not every single element that Harvey speaks of in Sherman’s article, there are a lot which makes me think that Harvey’s 12 elements really are quite universal. I didn’t find much motive (element 2) in the article where Sherman showed his awareness of the audience but still I find that the two are much related. Overall I think that Harvey’s list of elements are quite accurate when it comes to academic or formal essays, letters, articles and any forms of writing.

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Hope you enjoy it =]

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When I first glanced at the reading I paid specific attention to the title of the reading, Grierson on Documentary. Before I read the compilation by Forsyth Hardy I wanted to look up an exact definition of the word ‘documentary.’ Although in the English 110 class we have discussed it and thought about it, the definition is one that you can’t exactly put your finger on. The true definition of a documentary is a movie or short based on or recreating actual life or events. When I began reading I was shocked at the length of it, because for me the “principals of documentary” are quite simple. I thought at first that I would dread this reading but in fact I ended up quite enjoying it. I felt like Grierson really explained his point of view nice and clearly. He used good examples that didn’t loose me or confuse me but instead helped me to understand.

One example that Grierson used was the work of well known documenter Flaherty. Flaherty was the first filmmaker to produce and direct a commercially successful full feature length documentary film in 1922, entitled Nanook of the North. Grierson explains how Flaherty really put himself in the lives and situations he documented. He dropped his life and put his life on the line to really experience what his subjects did. I find this honorary because it takes a very strong person to put themselves in harms way to get a story, at any length. Instead of just presenting things and making an outsiders opinion he made himself a part of it. This thought really made me think because I think that makes someone brave.

Grierson then explains a lot more principals that he thinks make up a documentary. He even defines a documentary. This I found interesting because this was something we struggled with in class. He pretty much explains that although he doesn’t seem fond of the word ‘documentary’ that he uses it anyway cause it’s widely accepted as the French got it from changing the word ‘travelogue’ which is a slide show or motion picture relating to travels or in this case experiences. I think that these were just two examples of things that to me stuck out. I think that although I did not agree with everything that Grierson had to say about documentaries that it was indeed a very important educational reading. I think Grierson had a lot to say and that I ended up enjoying this reading that I started off thinking I would dread to the length and size of it.

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