Virtual historical reality: verisimilitude and the history documentary

Beattie, Debra and Maddock, Daniel Owen ORCID: (2016) Virtual historical reality: verisimilitude and the history documentary. In: ASPERA Annual Conference 2016: Screen Production Research: The Big Questions, 5-7 July 2016, Canberra, Australia.


There are two ways to conceive of the cinema of the Real: the first is to pretend that you can present reality to be seen; the second is to pose the problem of reality.
(Morin, quoted in Lee-Wright 2010)

The close relationship between film form (the style of a film and how it is made) and film content (the script or narrative) has been long discussed in reference to truth and authenticity, especially in documentary film production. The argument Edgar Morin presents suggests documentary modes such as cinéma vérité (literally ‘truth cinema’ in French) are perhaps idyllic constructs for a medium in which the very nature of itself is a lie; a presentation of still pictures as believable motion. The Méliès brothers present a divergent view from early cinema. One creating the earliest special-effects films, the other seeking to represent the truth in his documentaries made throughout the South Pacific.

This paper discusses the confluence of documentary, recreation and modern technologies in filmmaking, such as computer generated imagery, in order to seek authenticity for the production of The Art Lovers (Debra Beattie, in production 2016/17) a docudrama concerning the life of sculptor Daphne Mayo. A conceptual framework is explored, drawing on historical precedent and most recent industry practice in order to discover a methodological approach to the modern historical documentary.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Lecture)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ Other
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ Other
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2018 06:00
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2019 01:44
Fields of Research (2008): 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190201 Cinema Studies
Fields of Research (2020): 36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3605 Screen and digital media > 360501 Cinema studies
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