If access to video copies is the main issue, I'd say to look at all of the 
Peripheral Produce DVDs (with definitely-docs from Bill Brown, Deborah 
Stratman, Naomi Uman, and Matt McCormick among the maybe-not-doc stuff).  Also 
the Other Cinema catalogue, where in addition to the Baldwin doc (already 
mentioned), you'd find Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y and other stuff that would merit 
mention (maybe including my own Famous Irish Americans?).  I know too there is 
a DVD of Barbara Hammer's Resisting Paradise.  Looking now at her website, 
there's a lot of doc work that might be worth considering.  Jem Cohen's work 
also exists on video (although tape is the only format I've seen), and I think 
there are a fair number that might be doc enough to make the cut.  (If Lost 
Book Found is too poetic, certainly a bunch of the more recent portraits are 
more like "regular" docs.)

These are all just off the top of my head.  There are surely dozens upon dozens 
of others.  (I may try to brainstorm again when I haven't just been on the road 
for 13 hours.)

(newly) Columbus, Ohio

On Jan 3, 2014, at 2:05 PM, David Tetzlaff wrote:

> Bryan McManus wrote:
>> I'm not a well-represented "somebody", not sure if that matters
> Alas, it does. My apologies for not being clear enough in the OP. My friend's 
> project involves tracing 'the historical development of the documentary.' 
> What that means is, in short, that the works to be discussed need to have 
> been seen by enough people that they can be considered to have had some 
> influence on the development of the form. That could either be due to some 
> formal innovation or originality of approach that was followed in some ways 
> by other makers, or using existing techniques/styles etc. in a particularly 
> effective way that allows the film to connect with certain audiences.
> To give an example from NON-experimental docs, I'm going to recommend that 
> Kevin consider Ed Pincus's Diaries, although very few people outside of a 
> fairly narrow documentary community have ever seen it. But, of course, it was 
> extremely influential in all the many different types of diary films that 
> folowed. E.G. it sees to me you'd want to connect Ross McElwee back to 
> Pincus, etc.
> (Speaking of diaries, I know George Kuchar made many diary films and videos, 
> none of which I've seen (mea culpa). So I don't know how 'documentary' they 
> are, or which of his works in that category would be considered the most 
> exemplary/seen and discussed/ influential etc. etc.)
> You might describe his project as a sort of multi-media version of Barnouw, 
> but with a more personal approach - more essay than 'objective' history. Part 
> of Kevin's problem is that he's using Barnouw as a resource, and it's 
> woefully outdated. I've forwarded him Pat Aufderheide's more recent "Short 
> Introduction To Documentary", but as with any overview, she includes some 
> things I wouldn't and leaves out some things I'd want discusses. Anyway, I'm 
> just a resource for the guy doing the actual project, trying to help him 
> broaden the scope, and make it more up to date than, say, 1985. I just 
> thought I'd poll the List in search of some perhaps-should-be-obvious stuff 
> that hasn't popped into my now senior-moment-challenged mind. And, again, 
> it's not a project about experimental-docs, though that would be a good 
> project in and of itself. I just think Kevin out to put a little bit of the 
> more experimental side of things into his 'big picture,' but in the end he 
> may decide to do little or even none of that. Building a good list might help 
> convince him that some attention to the more avant garde side ought to be 
> included, you know, before we get to Ken Burns (yuchh!).
> I do hope no one who has suggested their own films feels slighted. I'm not in 
> a position to be judgmental about Kevin's interests. His question is 'how did 
> we get here?' not 'what's happening right now.' If the project was something 
> like (to borrow an Alan Rosenthal-ish title) 'New Directions In 21ist Century 
> Documentary', then I'd be eager to review and forward all your stuff. But 
> it's not.
> I guess one way of saying it is that the question is probably more up the 
> alley of folks thinking in programmer/curator/scholar mode rather than film 
> artist mode. Not that these are mutuallu exclusive categories by any means: I 
> do know lots of you own more than one hat.
> ---
> Another note: the operative defintion of documentary here does NOT include 
> all work that uses the 'real' world as it's subject. There ought to be some 
> forward movement of thought, if not a story, or an argument (essay form), 
> then at least a process. (A beginning-middle and end, though not necessarily 
> in that order as Godard would say) So, for example, Peter Hutton's films, 
> while being pure actualities, are in this sense, not-docuemntaries. This 
> would probably also filter out some works that are in the canon of 
> experimental docs, to the extent that there is one, such as Bridges Go Round. 
> It's a great work, but it doesn't really GO anywhere, if you know what I mean.
> And again, for the purposes of the project, the works have to be readily 
> accessible in video form. And did I mention that this is a project that has 
> no budget? So, basically I'm looking for stuff we can borrow from a library, 
> rent from Facets/Le Video type sources, etc. For example, let's say I thought 
> there was enough narrative development in some of David Gatten's films about 
> the Byrds to consider them experimental documentaries. These films have been 
> seen widely enough at festivals to be considered part of a broader 
> film/culture discourse, if out at the avant garde edge. But David's a 
> celluloid purist who doesn't distribute his film work in video form, so, no 
> go. (In truth Gatten might be too 'far out' for Kevin, it's just the first 
> example that came to mind). There's good and important stuff out there that 
> remains accessible only through prints, which for merely pragmatic concerns 
> will have to fall outside the scope of the project. This is not only a very 
> limited budget project money-wise, but time-wise. Kevin is not an academic 
> and is doing this as a 'labor-of-love' on the side while holding down a 
> demanding day job...
> ---
> Anyhow, with those caveats, please do post any examples that may pop into 
> your head. And if your head has other things to do, no worries. The operative 
> maxim here is "It never hurts to ask..."
> wishing you all a happy and productive 2014,
> djt
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