Reworking direct cinema: performative display in rockumentary

Beattie, Keith 2016, Reworking direct cinema: performative display in rockumentary. In Heinze, Carsten and Niebling, Laura (ed), Populare musikkulturen im film, Springer, Berlin, Germany, pp.132-138, doi: 10.1007/978-3-658-10896-0.

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Title Reworking direct cinema: performative display in rockumentary
Author(s) Beattie, Keith
Title of book Populare musikkulturen im film
Editor(s) Heinze, Carsten
Niebling, Laura
Publication date 2016
Start page 132
End page 138
Total pages 7
Publisher Springer
Place of Publication Berlin, Germany
Summary early 1960s, a staple of American direct cinema. In keeping with its associations with observational direct cinema, rockumentary emphasizes showing over telling: that is, rockumentary privileges the visual capacities of documentary over patterns of exposition. While the ‘documentary display’ of rockumentary is comparable to certain features of the early ‘cinema of attractions’ it exceeds such features in its focus on performance. Typically, an emphasis within documentary theory on unmediated and unreconstructed access to the real as the basis of documentary film has not admitted a place for notions of performance before the camera. Rockumentary, with its relentless foregrounding of the performing body and the performance of musicians, revises this understanding. This essay examines rockumentary within the context of observational direct cinema as a mode centred on a documentary performative display as it operates within selected works from the 1960s to the early twenty-first century. The film theorist Brian Winston has claimed that ‘[d]irect cinema made the rock performance/tour movie into the most popular and commercially viable documentary form thus far.’ The inverse of this assessment is closer to the mark: the rockumentary turned direct cinema into a commercially viable and popular form, one which the rockumentary has at times returned to and innovatively superseded in its scopic attention to performative display.
ISBN 9783658108953
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/978-3-658-10896-0
Field of Research 190201 Cinema Studies
Socio Economic Objective 950204 The Media
HERDC Research category B1 Book chapter
ERA Research output type B Book chapter
Copyright notice ©2016, Springer
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30079999

Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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