I’ve been watching more cable television shows lately, to the point where I now watch them almost exclusively over network fare (call me an elitist, but really, watch anything on AMC and see how easy it is going back to FOX). My latest such acquisition is Kurt Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy, which had been reccommended to me as gritty and high-octane family drama.
“Artists use lies to tell the truth”, as Alan Moore wrote in V for Vendetta. Documentary is a medium that freely offers what many narrative filmmakers tire endlessly to achieve, namely the ability to convince the audience of the film’s “reality”, aka the Suspension of Disbelief. The more Joe Moviegoer is convinced of the reality the filmmaker has crafted, the more likely he is to emotionally invest himself in it. Documentary doesn’t have to worry about this; it implies that from frame 1, what Joe is seeing is real, and exists in the same world he does.