Mini-task Museum of the Moving Image


From the exhibition,Behind the Screen, select 2 videos and compare them to respond the following question on one Learning Portfolio post; submit a link to your Learning Portfolio post here.

1. What is the story or concept behind each video?

2. How is the story constructed? is it linear? non-linear? 

3. Are there any similarities between them?

4. Any differences?

Nanook of the North

Director by Robert Flaherty

The concept behind the film, Nanook of the North was not initially intended as a documentary, a genre which had not even been defined at the time of the film’s production. As Flaherty’s widow Frances affirms in the interview featured on this disc, the film was made with an eye for commercial distribution and exhibition, and for audiences accustomed to narrative fiction films. Robert was building his story out of the materials of real life. In this he was blazing cinematic trails, and even though the tenets of anthropological filmmaking were not nearly in place, it is remarkable how much he still managed to get right. Initiating a practice that would later become fundamental ethnographic etiquette, Flaherty developed each day’s footage and screened it for the participants, who were encouraged to make suggestions.

The Jazz Singer (1927)

Director by Al Jolson

The concept behind this film, the Jazz Singer is a 1927 American musical drama film directed by Alan Crosland. It is the first feature-length motion picture with not only a synchronized recorded music score but also lip-synchronous singing and speech in several isolated sequences. Its release heralded the commercial ascendance of sound films and ended the silent film era. It was produced by Warner Bros. with its Vitaphone sound-on-disc system. The film features six songs performed by Al Jolson. The story use narrative ways to show audience, it has dialogue, conflict and stories connect them.

The similarities are these two films all black and white film and the footage and screened like the same way to shoot the characters. 

The different ways are the Jazz Singer is the first feature-length motion picture with not only a synchronized recorded music score, Nanook of the North is the first feature length documentaries. The Jazz Singer has more dialogues.


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