critical perspectives on film independent documentaries

Part I. The ’60s: “Titticut Follies”

1) Write a review of the film

2) Director, Frederick Wiseman has referred to Cinema Verite as “a pompous French term that has absolutely no meaning…” What does Cinema Verite mean; How was it used in filmmaking; What technological advancements took place which ushered in the ability to shoot films in this style? And finally, why does Wiseman think this about Cinema Verite?

Part II. The ’70s “Hearts & Minds” (Links to an external site.)“Harlan County, USA”On YouTube (Links to an external site.)

Segment(s) shown in class last week: “Why Vietnam?”Why Vietnam? (Links to an external site.)Why Vietnam?

Video of Eisenhower’s “Military-Industrial Complex” speech (Links to an external site.)

Full text of Eisenhower’s speech (Links to an external site.)

1) Write reviews of “Harlan County USA” and “Hearts & Minds”

2) a) In President Eisenhower’s fairwell speech in 1961, he coined the phrase “military-industrial complex” and warned the American public that it was only “an alert and knowledgeable citizenry” that this complex could be prevented from becoming too powerful and influential here at home. Apply the term “military-industrial complex” to both films, siting specific moments in the films.

It’s fairly easy to apply the terms in connection with “Hearts & Minds”. In applying “military-industrial complex” to “Harland County USA”, although Eisenhower was referring specifically to the defense industry in this speech, can you make the argument that the complex extends beyond the defense industry into other sectors, such as energy?

2) b) Discuss how each film helps (or doesn’t help) foster an “alert and knowledgeable citizenry, again, siting specific moments.