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A Film Travelogue: Mock/Documentaries

by Ainsley Hume on 2019-05-24T14:15:11-04:00 | Comments

For the month of May, the IMC has been featuring a mashup display between Mockumentaries and Documentaries. For those of you who may not be familiar with Mockumentaries, they are films which have a documentary feel, but feature fictional material. I wanted to explore both genres, so I watched a couple films these past couple of weeks: This Is Spinal Tap [IMC DVD 781.66 T448 2000], Thin Blue Line [IMC DVD 345.7302 T443 2005], and The Idiots (available through ILL).

This is Spinal Tap is a mockumentary about a rock band and their life touring around. I loved that they even wrote songs for the band to perform that are actually pretty catchy. The band has its ups and downs, and the mockumentary even goes in depth with all the members of the band. It was very quirky but fun to watch.

Thin Blue Line is a documentary by Errol Morris which followed a case in Texas where a man murdered a cop who had pulled him over. The man charged for the crime maintained his innocence the whole time, and his accomplice (a man he had just met that day who had many prior arrests) was let off. A very well-done documentary, and one that kept you interested and engaged throughout.

My last film, The Idiots, is a film that I think qualifies as a semi-mockumentary, although it isn’t classified that way. Directed by Lars von Trier, this film was shot with a digital camera, which increased the feeling of it being a docu/mockumentary. The premise of the movie is based on a group of people who decide to break middle-class boundaries by pretending to be mentally handicapped in public to make other people feel uncomfortable. While I didn’t completely understand their reasoning behind it, the film was very unique and clearly showcased von Trier’s interesting directorial style.


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