Change in Documentary Genre

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The documentary genre has changed over time. Changes in society have had an impact on the change. There are large commercialist pressures for documentary to become more entertaining and engaging to capture a wider cinema going audience. Documentary has become increasingly popular. Documentaries such as Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore have been given numerous awards and were widely popular at the box office.

The Grey Gardens is a 1975 documentary by Albert and David Maysles. The film depicts the lives of a socialite mother and daughter living in a decrepit mansion. The Grey Gardens uses an observation style of documentary. It uses old style music and the editing pace is slow. The Grey Gardens provides a very different experience than the more recent documentary. The old style of the documentary would have been entertaining to the audience of 1975 as they were more conservative than today’s society and would have been able to relate to the people in the documentary. The changes in society have expanded the documentary genre to make it more interesting for the audiences of today.

The documentary Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moor is an example of the change in the documentary genre. It is a powerful documentary for the audience as it addresses a very important issue about gun control in the United States. Michael Moore uses humour within the documentary to make it more entertaining and to attract a wider age of viewers than a documentary such as the Grey Gardens. Michael Moore ridicules many of the events and people portrayed throughout the film, such as Charlton Heston, making it entertaining and humorous. The documentary uses a fast editing pace, with Michael Moore creatively putting shots that seem to be unrelated together, such as the Kosovo bombings and the September 11 attacks. As well as making it more captivating for the audience these shots evoke strong emotion and manipulates them into taking Moore’s side. His intensive use of music as...
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