Monday, February 26, 2007

A New Definition

Since the Academy of Motion Pictures has changed the definition of what "documentary" means, I think we need to re-visit some older films. Since films that are mostly fictitious now qualify as a "documentary", there are many past films that I feel should get retroactive Oscars for being excellent documentary films.

The Godfather: This is an excellent "documentary" on immigration to America, particularly from the Italian point of view.

Jaws: Who can forget this fascinating "documentary" on marine biology?

Star Wars: This is a very in-depth look at the American Space Program. Many NASA scientists give their points of view. I particularly appreciate the disagreement among scientists as to the nature of the force. This "documentary" gives you a lot to ponder.

Sideways: Alexander Payne's fascinating "documentary" that explores Southern California's coastal wine region and delves into how wine characteristics reflect on those who drink them.

Cinderella: This "documentary" examines the conflict between the ruling class, the middle class, and the lower class. It's particularly effective at the end where it shows it is truly possible for someone in the lowest class (a slave) can actually rise up to the ruling class with a little luck.


Erik said...

Since you need it the official definition of documentary from Gore's FACTUAL movie goes in there.

doc·u·men·ta·ry /ˌdɒkyəˈmɛntəri, -tri/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[dok-yuh-men-tuh-ree, -tree] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation adjective, noun, plural -ries.
1. Also, doc·u·men·tal /ˌdɒkyəˈmɛntl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[dok-yuh-men-tl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation. pertaining to, consisting of, or derived from documents: a documentary history of France.
2. Movies, Television. based on or re-creating an actual event, era, life story, etc., that purports to be factually accurate and contains no fictional elements: a documentary life of Gandhi.
3. Movies, Television. a documentary film, radio or television program, etc.

doc·u·men·ta·ry (dŏk'yə-měn'tə-rē) Pronunciation Key

1. Consisting of, concerning, or based on documents.
2. Presenting facts objectively without editorializing or inserting fictional matter, as in a book or film.

n. pl. doc·u·men·ta·ries
A work, such as a film or television program, presenting political, social, or historical subject matter in a factual and informative manner and often consisting of actual news films or interviews accompanied by narration.


1. relating to or consisting of or derived from documents
2. emphasizing or expressing things as perceived without distortion of personal feelings, insertion of fictional matter, or interpretation; "objective art" [syn: objective]

1. a film or TV program presenting the facts about a person or event

Main Entry: doc·u·men·ta·ry
Pronunciation: "dä-ky&-'men-t&-rE
Function: adjective
: being, consisting of, or contained in documents documentary evidence

docuˈmentary [-ˈmen-] adjective
of or found in documents
Example: documentary evidence
Arabic: وَثائِقي
Chinese (Simplified): 文件的
Chinese (Traditional): 文件的
Czech: písemný
Danish: dokumentarisk
Dutch: documentair
Estonian: dokumentaalne
Finnish: asiakirjoihin nojautuva
French: documentaire
German: urkundlich
Greek: γραπτός, που βρίσκεται σε έγγραφα
Hungarian: okmányszerű, hiteles
Icelandic: skjalfestur
Indonesian: tertulis
Italian: documentario

Japanese: 文書の
Korean: 문서의, 문서에 의한
Latvian: dokumentāls
Lithuanian: dokumentinis
Norwegian: dokumentarisk
Polish: udokumentowany
Portuguese (Brazil): documentário
Portuguese (Portugal): documental
Romanian: docu­mentar
Russian: документальный
Slovak: písomný
Slovenian: dokumentaren
Spanish: documental
Swedish: stödd på (ingående i) dokument
Turkish: belgesel
ˌdocuˈmentary [-ˈmen-] noun
a film, programme etc giving information on a certain subject
Example: a documentary on the political situation in Argentina
Arabic: بَرْنامَج أو فيلم وَثائِقي
Chinese (Simplified): 纪录影片
Chinese (Traditional): 紀錄影片
Czech: dokumentární film
Danish: dokumentarfilm; dokumentarudsendelse
Dutch: documentaire
Estonian: dokumentaalfilm
Finnish: dokumenttielokuva
French: documentaire
German: die Dokumentation
Greek: ντοκιμαντέρ
Hungarian: dokumentumfilm
Icelandic: heimildakvikmynd
Indonesian: dokumenter
Italian: documentario

Japanese: 記録映画
Korean: 기록 영화, 다큐멘터리
Latvian: dokumentāla filma
Lithuanian: dokumentinis filmas
Norwegian: dokumentarfilm, *-program
Polish: film dokumentalny
Portuguese (Brazil): documentário
Portuguese (Portugal): documentário
Romanian: documentar
Russian: документальный фильм
Slovak: dokumentárny film
Slovenian: dokumentarni film
Spanish: documental
Swedish: dokumentär
Turkish: belgesel, dökümanter

Erik said...

I know you don't like reality but there is the dose.

Erik said...

But something I've said all along will continue to happen:

1) Those who believe global warming is here and will destroy our planet unless things are done will still believe it(like myself)

2) Those who don't believe in it still won't believe in it.

Robert E Wilson said...

First of all, thanks for taking up considerable web space with a definition that I, or anybody else could easily look up elsewhere.

If you believe Hollywood folk, or Hollywood want-a-bes like Al Gore constitute "reality", you are really lost.

1)Humans cannot destroy planet Earth. If every man, woman, and child put all there efforts to destroy Earth, we would still fail. The notion of "Saving the planet" is sheer arrogance. It is not us who can save it or destroy it.

2)...and vice versa.

Erik said...

Humans cannot destroy planet earth? Have you heard of the atomic bomb? (Something Bush has said and I believe him on that he will use) And you can't deny things like weather patterns aren't changing. You obviously didn't know what the definition for documentary is otherwise you wouldn't have made this post. You are in denial like all right-wingers

Robert E Wilson said...

I didn't say we can't destroy ourselves. I said we cannot destroy the Earth. I wrote about that last year and you said you agreed with me about that.

The weather is always changing. It has been constantly changing since the beginning of the Earth.

Erik said...


Unless a miracle happens Los Angeles is going to have the driest rainy season on record.

Fact: Central Park New York had the latest snowfall EVER (on Valentine's day.

Fact: Up until the week of the Super Bowl places like Chicago were enjoying their warmest season ever.

You tell me nothing is odd here?

Robert E Wilson said...

You apparently don't notice I haven't given my opinion on this whole matter. Don't worry, that's coming soon.

The only opinion I have given is that Al Gore is completely full of hot air (not to mention other substances). The Oscar he won is a slap in the face to most documentaries. His film is a joke.

And if it's "facts" you want to throw around. Much of the northeast got record snowfall in February.