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Class Notes 10/26

Smacholdt's picture

 Class Notes 10/26/10

Anne: Discussion of what to do on Thursday. People willing to serve as mediators in her absence. This would be a step towards self-directed education. Reactions?

 Veritatemdelixi: Suggested working together on papers.

Anne: We wouldn’t be able to discuss film.

 Aya Seaver: We could discuss film and then do writing groups.

Platano: Will conversation fall off without Anne’s presence?

 Kgould: Weird (edgy) movie so we’ll have a lot to talk about.

 Anne: I could create a page and guidelines for a class discussion.

 Anne: Went over homework. FatCatRex, talk about your idea about post-secret.

FatCatRex: Frank Warren was the founder of post-secret mail art project. He asked people to anonymously mail in post cards with secrets. Sometimes truth is important/ valuable when it’s anonymous. Why are other people interested in these secrets? How does the internet play a role?

 Anne: Active Minds advocacy group- held a post secret event last year. Everyone has secrets to share.  Are some of the secrets fictional? How many have been fabricated or fudged?

 Platano: I don’t believe all of the secrets. Some people just want a reaction. They’re interested in the shock value of these secrets.

 Veritatemdelixi: All of all the millions of people who read the post secret blog every secret has to be true for at least one person.

 FatCatRex: Does it really matter if the secrets are fictionalized?

 Anne: How is truth authenticated?

EVD: Frank Warren spoke at a friend’s graduation and compiled a list of graduate’s secrets and read some during his speech. In some ways don’t actually matter if the secrets were true.

 TyL: There are many anonymous confessions sites online. By being able to be anonymous you’re allowed to be yourself. Are anonymity and confession connected?

 Anne: Do these sites encourage people to be slanderous/ say thing they wouldn’t otherwise say?

 Platano: People will be cruel others if they can do it anonymously.

 Veritatemdelixi: If you confess to a priest you are confessing because you want self-improvement. Is our obsession with anonymity for this kind of improvement or cause we just want to rant?

 Aya Seaver: If people didn’t have this area to confess, people would channel this energy into a better form. People can find better outlets for their frustrations.

 Owl: People are not making the truth useful through this online medium.

 Anne: Smacholdt said that the ambiguity of the documentary F for Fake was on purposeful. SandraGandarez wondered why someone would make an intentionally confusing film.

 Platano: The whole documentary led up to the last 17 minutes. Wells set the audience up to be taken in.

 Veritatemdelixi: Liked F for Fake because of the openness of the plot and the way the audience had to follow multiple storylines.

 Kgould: Liked the format and liked how the plot was based on two liars lying about the other characters in the documentary.

Anne: Veritatemdelixi said the film was not about trickery and truth but about a search for legitimacy and fulfillment in artwork. The film was about a mistaken search for legitimacy. Artists are searching for legitimacy but in the wrong places. They create art to gain fame instead of just to contribute to the art world.

 Aya Seaver: You can copy a Picasso and people are moved by it. Isn’t this more important than just giving credit to the artist? At the same time Orson Wells made Orson Wells movies.

 Platano: You are paying for the brand of the painting (the artist’s name). Like buying a Tiffany’s ring.

 Aya Seaver: You can’t get the same painting but you can get a similar one of similar quality. The artist’s name distracts us.

 Anne: Art is a lie but can still teach us something about our lives. However if don’t help us to understand what we think of as real.

Platano: Coming of age stories are relatable to everyday life even though they are fiction.

Aya Seaver: The true things in life and the real things aren’t the same. Real things you actually have to deal with. Reality is a true thing like something likely to happen in a novel.

Veritatemdelixi: Doesn’t see the distinction between real and reality- it’s just a scale. Would be angry if lost her toothbrush, and even more angry if broke up with a boyfriend.

Rachelr: Reality is TANGIBLE while truth is not.

Jackie: Art is not a lie because it is a mixture of somebody’s truths.

FatCatRex: Why can’t art be truth?

Anne: Art is a representation of the world.

Aya Sever: Some art not a representation of the world. Some artists do not want to reflect back reality. We think we like reality and truth but not everyone really does. You can’t get to the truth via the real.

Veritatemdelixi: All of us have a fictional character within us- we’re not all real all the time. It comes out in different ways at different times.

Jackie: We all change depending on the context.

Anne: I am representing one facet of my personality today. As your teacher I am someone real. We all have multiple selves.

Kgould: Dissociative disorder- the extreme expression of who we are at different times. You are different for every situation- class, parents, etc.

Anne: Truth and reality are not useful words.

Jackie: Friend’s clip- shows how reality just depends on the different perspectives.

Anne: Thin Blue Line background information and notes on documentary film genre. (See Towards Day 15) /exchange/courses/nonfiction/f10/archive/15

 Reactions to the film?

Kgould: The content is really boring b/c no way to form a real opinion- no way to say definitively who was right and wrong

SuperMarioGirl: The film was like Dateline trying to be artsy. (i.e. flashing between the swinging watch and the malt was flying through the air.) The reenacted scenes didn’t have the desired effect.

EVD: The Thin Blue Line had an interesting storyline. In the interviews one guy is clearly in jail and the other it is not as clear. Confusion about the facts of the case. Took as fact the evidence they were portraying in the film- Adams not guilty. Thought Adams not guilty so thought he was not in jail.

Pfischer: Raised questions about memory. Same things happened each time a scene was shown but the minor details were different for each person. What each person was portraying as fact was different. Same scene but with different things changed. Overarching themes of the film: The lawyer denounced the legal system because of the fallibility of testimonies.

Veritatemdelixi: Shadowed a federal prosecutor over the summer. Often times the case was decided before people even got into the courtroom. Cases are all about who constructs the best story. They are completely removed from reality.

Maht91: Memory and relationship to Shields’. In documentary films the testimonies are unreliable and sometimes not true.

Tgarber: Was taken back by the idea of memory and how two people have the same memory but it is so vastly different.

SandraGandarez: Frustrated by who got to decide the truth. How does someone objectively decide what information to include in the trial and what not to include.

Anne: Repetitive musical score. Sounds like a stuck record. Also, wondered what Randal Adams was actually doing that night.

Platano: Fiction and nonfiction are subjective. Convinced that Adams was guilty because of his monotone voice and manner.

EVD: People who aren’t guilty can’t show remorse so they’re more likely to be convicted.

Rachelr: People sometimes change their testimonies in relation to other people.  

TyL: Reminded of an incident in childhood where couldn’t remember certain facts. Mentioned the fictional device of the unreliable narrator. In the real world it is harder distinguish and unreliable narrator.

Ckosarek: Interesting how characters like the druggie couple were introduced later on to make to seem like audience was discovering case as it went along. You were supposed to figure it out by yourself.

FatCatRex: Depressed by our lack of justice system. Interesting how the film traced David Harris back to childhood to frame him as troubled person. Giving someone that much history made him seem emotionally available. People need to create a story that is convincing in court.

Smacholdt: David Harris’s interview underscores the fact that everyone has his or her own reality. The documentary brings up the point that “truth” is not by any means absolute.

Aya: Did not like the documentary. Nothing was well lit- no clear reenactment- not a clear series. Relating a crime scene in an unorganized way did not feel right. Is it worth confusing everyone when you can just say that justice doesn’t work?

Jaranda: Frustrated that case did not move at Law and Order speed. Concern for the legal system.

Anne: Again mentioned the constructedness and unreliability of memory. But there are some truths that we can get at and document. The post-modern movement was geared toward reality and truth.

Veritatemdelixi: Parallel to Kennedy assassination. Wonders if a crime like this could only happened in Dallas.

Platano: These were a couple of times in the move where someone referred to the speed at which these cop killings are solved. They are easy to pin on someone who already had a bad reputation.

Anne: Genre question- Did you know that you were watching a documentary? Striking use of fictional techniques to portray a real crime.

Kgould: Documentary genre highlights subjectivity.



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