Film & Bill Nichols What Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Reality TV is in a way like a documentary, because the viewer is led to believe that things are happening in real life just as it is being presented.

But the documentary usually opens with a narrator explaining to the audience why that audience should believe what is about to be shown. In the documentary "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan," the viewers know that the documentary was done by a famous filmmaker, Martin Scorsese. There sits the famous rock singer, Bob Dylan, answering questions. This is definitely real to the audience. The audience sees Dylan in concert, the audience sees Dylan during press conferences at the beginning of his career when Dylan rejected the "mainstream" media's questions because those reporters did not understand his lyrics.

The point here is this documentary gives every indication of being real, whereas the movie with Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There," is a slick production that may or may not have honestly reflected what Dylan did or did not do during his career. Comparing "I'm Not There" with the documentary "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan" is like comparing pure entertainment with objective journalism, because the documentary style used by Scorsese (which is an example of both "The Observational Mode" and "The Participatory Mode") leads the audience to totally believe everything that is being presented. Nothing against Cate Blanchett's acting (she was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance) but a movie that is produced as an entertainment production has the license to fictionalize all it wants to.

The ethical issues in the "No Direction Home" documentary are very clearly established. The audience knows where Dylan was born, Hibbing Minnesota. The audience sees the typical small town American high school homecoming parade, and since just about everyone has been in high school at homecoming time, that is real and ethical to show the audience. The movie is typical of home movies. And then the documentary takes viewers to New York's Greenwich Village where Dylan began playing in coffee houses. But the ethical thing for Scorsese to do was interview a lot of people who knew Dylan back then.

So one by one, audiences see people like Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, and others, talking about what Dylan was like, what his attitude was, how well his folk music was accepted.

Now if Scorsese had created a story that wasn't true about Dylan, or interviewed someone who wasn't credible but claimed to have seen Dylan do something illegal like use drugs, the ethical part of the documentary would be wasted.

The assumption is that a good, ethical documentary can "engender tangible change." Why do a documentary if you're not going to make an important point? In the documentary "The Future of Food: What Every Person Should Know" (by Deborah Garcia, the widow of rock star Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead), the producers certainly want viewers to change their views on genetically engineered food. According to the Massachusetts School of Law, Garcia's film "Is acknowledged for its role in educating voters in Mendocino County, California"; the voters in that county passed "measure H" which bans genetically manufactured crops. This is a classic case of a documentary changing the minds of people, because before the documentary was shown widely to county voters, the polls showed that the measure might not pass. The documentary was made in 2004, and it goes into the possible problems that could result from corn and rice and other crops that have been grown from seeds that were genetically altered by the use of chemicals and technology. And so the answer is yes, a documentary should be ethical to be effective, and it should have enough power through the people being interviewed to change minds where they need to be changed.

Works Cited

Ebert, Roger. 2005. No Direction Home: Bob Dylan / Bob Dylan: Reluctant Icon. Retrieved April 20, 2008, at

Massachusetts School of Law. 2006. The Future of Food: What Every Person Should Know with Deborah Garcia. Retrieved April 20, 2008, at

Nichols, Bill. 2001. Introduction to Documentary.…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Film & Bill Nichols What" (2008, April 21) Retrieved November 29, 2016, from

"Film & Bill Nichols What" 21 April 2008. Web.29 November. 2016. <>

"Film & Bill Nichols What", 21 April 2008, Accessed.29 November. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Movie Starts With the Year 1981 The

    movie starts with the year 1981. The location is San Francisco, California. The main character (protagonist), Chris Gardner played by Will Smith, invests his complete life savings in transportable bone-density scanners which he exhibits to doctors and sells as a convenient quantum leap over typical X-rays. Although he makes some sales, he is unable to make enough money to pay his bills. His already disillusioned and bitter wife, played

  • Film Analysis of Double Indemnity

    Cain (afterward coupled by Mickey Spillane, Horace McCoy, and Jim Thompson) -- whose books were also recurrently tailored in films noir. In the vein of the novels, these films were set apart by a subdued atmosphere and realistic violence, and they presented postwar American cynicism to the extent of nihilism by presuming the total and hopeless corruption of society and of everyone in it. Billy Wilder's acidic Double Indemnity

  • Lesson Plan Amp Reflection I Didn t Know

    Lesson Plan Amp; Reflection I didn't know what state you are in so was unable to do state/district standards! Lesson Plan Age/Grade Range; Developmental Level(s): 7-8/2nd Grade; Below grade level Anticipated Lesson Duration: 45 Minutes Lesson Foundations Pre-assessment (including cognitive and noncognitive measures): All students are reading below grade level (5-7 months) as measured by standardized assessments and teacher observation Curricular Focus, Theme, or Subject Area: Reading: Fluency, word recognition, and comprehension State/District Standards: Learning Objectives: Students will develop

  • Branding New Service Dominant Logic

    Branding in Service Markets Amp Aim And Objectives Themes for AMP Characteristics Composing Branding Concept Branding Evolution S-D Logic and Service Markets Branding Challenges in Service Markets Considerations for Effective Service Branding Categories and Themes Branding Theory Evolution S-D Logic and Service Markets Branding Challenges in Service Markets Considerations for Effective Service Branding Branding Concept Characteristics Characteristics Composing Branding Concept Sampling of Studies Reviewed Evolution of Branding Theory Evolution of Marketing Service-Brand-Relationship-Value Triangle Brand Identity, Position & Image Just as marketing increasingly influences most aspects of the consumer's lives, brands

  • Investigations Workplace Violence

    Workplace Violence Everyday in the United States millions of Americans leave their homes and enter the places of their employment. Captain Among these millions, most report to work unaware of the prevalence of workplace violence or fully understand the gamut of actions that represent such violence. It is typical of the media to only report high profile cases including a former employee or a worker losing control - the most

  • The Philosophy of Neo Confucianism

    Neo-Confucianism is a philosophy which was born from the need to explain the existence of man and the universe in a manner which was just as complex as the Buddhist one. The philosophers which belong to this school of thought took the core of the Confucian philosophy and enriched it with contributions from other philosophies. It can also be stated that neo-Confucianism is a reaction to various provocations of philosophical

  • Bill of Rights and Today s Criminal Justice

    Bill of Rights and Today's Criminal Justice System The administration of justice and security in America is based upon Constitutional powers, originally drafted in the Bill of Rights. While the Constitution has been amended several times since its inception, its laws still stand and have been defined by courts in landmark cases that have decided how particular amendments may be interpreted. In the light of these cases and the Constitution itself,

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved