Film Analysis: Hoop Dreams (1994)
Written by Ann Kelsey
Cinema of the Real: Documentary Films
December 5, 2012
The 1994 Documentary, Hoop Dreams, directed by Steve James, is a masterful display of human drama. The story-line is so captivating and theatrical that it seems crafted from fiction. The Documentary boasts cinematic techniques and private investigating that rivals most film of this time period. The film follows the high school careers of two boys from the Cabrini-Green housing projects in Chicago. The aggressive authenticity of cinema verite does not only peek through in character emotion, but film’s beginning came together naturally. James tells Robert Ebert in 2009, "A talent scout for suburban high schools led us to Arthur. Through Arthur we happen to met William. We kept right on filming from that. We never did get much more, but we kept on filming (Ebert, 1).” Through commendable efforts in precise cinematography, narrative, and continuity editing- the stories of Arthur Agee and William Gates widened the eyes of America. In all my years of studying cinema I have yet to watch a movie, documentary or not, that has touched me this deeply. The superiority of Hoop Dreams goes well beyond the scope of a Film student. Apart from his assessment, Hoop Dreams is decorated with over twelve awards. To name a few; The Sundance Film Festival Audience Aware for Best Documentary in 1994, 1994 Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Documentary, 1994 Chicago Film Critics Award: Best Picture, 1995 Academy Award Nomination: Best Editing and In 2007, the International Documentary Association selected Hoop Dreams as the all-time greatest documentary (IMDb). The fates of Arthur and William began in the hands of Earl Smith, a talent scout for several high schools that recruits impressionable grammar school kids. College-style recruitment at the disturbingly young age of twelve. He recruited Both Arthur
Bibliography: Bellour, Raymond, and Constance Penley. The Analysis of Film. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2000. Print. Ebert, Roger. "Roger Ebert 's Journal." Roger Ebert 's Journal. Chicago Sun-Times, n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2012. . Ellis, Jack C., and Betsy A. McLane. A New History of Documentary Film. New York: Continuum, 2005. Print. Nichols, Bill. Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1991. Print. IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012. Saldana, Matt. "Indy Week." Indy Week. N.p., 6 Apr. 2009. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.